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Ticket-Fixing Scandal Exposed

While traffic tickets in Mono and Inyo Counties basically roll through the system, the same cannot be said of Orange County.

Federal prosecutors already have one person in custody, and the expect to make other arrests, in a traffic-fixing scandal that may have affected as many as 1,000 cases. In a thirty-eight count indictment, authorities say that an ex-clerk received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to illegally resolve DUI cases and traffic tickets. Apparently, the clerk would change information in the computer and even falsify signatures when necessary.

Jose Lopez, Jr. allegedly charged as much as $8,000 per case.

Traffic Ticket Procedure

These kinds of scandals are much more common in big counties as opposed to smaller ones, basically because of volume. In a large jurisdiction, two or three cases a month can mysteriously fall off the docket and no one will notice. But in smaller counties, like Mono or Inyo, someone will say something.

About 95 percent of criminal cases – including traffic tickets – are settled out-of-court before trial during plea bargaining, or “ritual begging,” as some of my colleagues have labeled it. Most area courts allow attorneys to appear on behalf of drivers during pretrial settings, so in many cases, the driver may not ever have to go to court.

Ideally, both sides get something during plea bargaining. The prosecutor avoids the time and effort required to try the case, and the defendant either pleads guilty to a lesser charge (like coasting instead of speeding) or receives a lower fine and/or reduced points. If there is a valid defense, which is normally the case, the defense attorney has even more leverage in these situations.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.

At Bigger & Harman, we successfully resolve nearly all the Mono County traffic tickets we handle without even going to trial. Call us and we’ll fight for you.