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California Ranks 5th as Worst State to Get a Ticket

Seriously, Just Fifth Worst?

Many California drivers would be shocked to find out that there are four worse states than CA in which to get a ticket. Of course, where each state places depends on the criteria used to assess the rating, such as maximum fine, jail time, suspensions, etc. but for the number of traffic citations issued, CA is fourth and is considered the fifth worst state to get a ticket, due largely to the add-ons assessed. Consider a basic 1-15 mph over the limit speeding ticket with a base fine of $35, after add-ons turns into a $235-250 fine depending on the traffic court’s location. The total fine is nearly seven times that authorized by the legislature.

That number probably moves up closer to number one worst if you consider the speeding over 100 mph penalties, where the judge has the discretion of imposing a 30-day suspension and an additional $100.00 for each mph over 100. Although, CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22348 caps the “base” fine for speeding over 100 mph at $500 for a first conviction, that does not include the state and county assessments, fees, and surcharges, which can easily bring your fine up to $900 - $2600.

The good thing about a fine is that you pay it once and you’re done, not so with your insurance premium, which will skyrocket upon your next review for renewal. Depending on the insurance company, your premium will likely double or triple if they decide you are worth the risk to keep insuring. Speeding over 100 mph is assessed two points under Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) and will stay on your record for seven years.

Which State Is Worst for a Ticket?

Ever heard of Hopewell, VA? If you’re not from VA or traveled through there, you probably have not heard of it, but they collected more than $1.8 million in fines along a two-mile stretch of I-295 last year. LA drivers are probably sympathetic with the drivers who were caught up in Hopewell’s speed traps because around the intersection of Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Canton DR in LA, law enforcement officers (LEOs) issued 750 speeding tickets last year.

However, VA is still not the worst, NJ owns that distinction. They collect $30,000 per year for every mile of roadway. Imagine being ticketed for “racing” which causes a fine to double, for doing just ten mph over the posted speed limit. Many LEOs won’t even stop you for doing less than ten mph over the speed limit.

What’s the Worst Thing about the Current Fine Structure?

A speeding ticket in CA could be a ticket to the poor house when you consider that during the last eight years 4,200,000 drivers have had their license suspended because of unpaid fines. Until you have appeared before a judge, you can’t even ask to have your income considered and set up a payment program. Guess what else? Nearly half of those who lost their license also lost their jobs! Maybe that is why the state of CA is owed nearly $10 billion in traffic fines. Yes, that’s billion, with a B!

Many would say, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay the fine!” Well actually, that’s close to the saying, “Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." from the Baretta TV show starring Tony Blake in the 1970s, but the message is clear enough. Don’t speed if you can’t afford to pay a ticket. And, if you have unpaid traffic ticket, hire a local traffic lawyer to help you get those dismissed or reduced and get your license and your life back!

Hire a Local Lawyer when Necessary

Call Bigger & Harman anywhere in Central Valley, including Tulare, Fresno, Tulare, Kern, Kings, Mono, and others to get the help you need with a ticket in Bishop, Mojave, Visalia, Santa Clarita, Bakersfield, or other Traffic Courts. See what your neighbors in Mono County had to say about the legal advice they received from Bigger & Harman on Yelp, such as this one by Kam S. from Brea, CA, “They helped me reduce my 2 point traffic ticket to 1 point as well as no 30-day license suspension. The ticket was a speeding ticket for 100+ mph in Bishop going to Mammoth. Thank you, Mr. Bigger for helping me out!” Call Bigger & Harman today, 661-349-9300. Or, send an email: attorney@markbigger.com.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.