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Navigating Traffic Court

Be Prepared for Traffic Court

Traffic court is totally different than any other courtroom setting. Although less than five percent of Californians who receive traffic tickets go to court, it is as busy as the Metro on Monday morning before work. So, navigating traffic court, particularly in major cities such as Los Angeles and San Fran, can be a bit confusing, to say the least. You could have your arraignment and trial on the same day or request a separate court date. You don’t always need a lawyer, but you should consult with a traffic ticket attorney prior to your court date to determine how you should proceed and meticulously prepare like you would for a job interview.

The very first thing you should do is look up the CA Vehicle Code section you have been charged with violating, it is written right there on the ticket, CVC 22348 or whichever it is. Type that into Google and look for the CVC number plus Law Section on This will give you the information and the elements of the violation the state must prove.

Anticipating the questions you might be asked and rehearsing short, to-the-point answers will help tremendously. You can request “discovery” or any evidence the state intends to use against you in court, such as radar and calibration data, notices sent by the DMV, court “Notices to Appear,” etc. Take pictures of the place you were stopped if it will help, work up diagrams that depict where the law enforcement officer was in relation to your location if you were ticketed for failure to stop at a red-light or stop sign or did not use radar but estimated your speed. A red-light conviction will cost you nearly $500 just for the fine, not including the increased insurance premiums, so consult a traffic ticket attorney and fight the ticket.

What to Expect at Your Arraignment

It’s your duty to ensure the justice system honors your rights under both the State and US Constitution. The state collected $1.9 billion traffic ticket revenue in 2016, not counting the millions spent on related expenses to traffic schools, the bail bond industry, and impound services, etc. We need to make the government earn that revenue or make it more realistic. Fight the ticket.

On the date of arraignment, be prepared to wait for your name to be called, then the judicial officer or judge will ask you if you wish to plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest (no contest is normally pled when there is a civil matter pending on a matter such as an accident) or if you are not prepared, request another trial date at the arraignment. Requesting another trial date is something the state considers a “convenience” for you and that could require you to post “bail” or the amount of the fine, which will be returned to you when you are found not guilty.

What to Expect at Trial

Whether you have a combined arraignment and trial, or your trial is on a separate date, the process of waiting is basically the same. Be prepared to be in court at least half the day, if not all day. When you are called, and you chose not to use a traffic ticket attorney, you will be given an opportunity to present your case, but you won’t have long, and many judges in traffic court think they’ve heard it all before, so if you don’t have an attorney, you may not get what you consider adequate time. Even when found not guilty you may still be required to pay court costs.

The best possible scenario is to hire a local traffic ticket attorney to represent you in court. They work within the traffic court system every day and know the technicalities and law changes that “outsiders” are not aware of in most cases.

Hire a Local Central Valley Traffic Attorney

Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 to inquire about the specifics of your ticket or email:

Don’t wait for your traffic court date, start preparing right away and the best way to start preparing is by consulting with a traffic ticket attorney. They will provide you with straightforward advice about how to proceed, even if it is to tell you that you can do it on your own, or that you should accept traffic school and pay the fine.

Read this comment left on, Morgan says, “I do not know much about the court systems but thanks to this guy, I know a lot more than I did. I recommend him for any traffic court problems that you may have.”

Bigger & Harman charge a flat rate, which covers all aspects of preparation for the case, and for representing you in court, so you will always know exactly what you will have.

Or, you can read Bigger & Harman’s page, Nolo is one of the top internet digests for legal experts. Or, Yelp, read the 80 or more reviews left by some of the thousands of clients, mostly positive, with some negative comments, we can’t win every time. But, you can count on them to put up the best possible legal defense on your ticket.

Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

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