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Why "Just Paying the Ticket" Isn't Always the Answer

Not all tickets are worth hiring a lawyer to fight, but do you know which are worth fighting? Traffic school can only be used to mask or hide a ticket once within a year and a half. Therefore, when you use it for a 1-15 mph over the limit speeding ticket, it is no longer available if you have a major infraction. The same is true for many violations, if you just pay the fine, you may not be able to fight the next ticket. If both tickets are assessed two NOTS points, you will likely receive a schedule for a DMV Hearing for a suspension if convicted.

Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

This system is administered by the DMV to provide automatic or electronic updates and notifications to the driver’s motor vehicle driving record (MVR) after an at-fault accident or a CA Vehicle Code (CVC) violation conviction. The driver will receive notifications, warnings, and letters at different levels before an action is taken by the DMV.

When a driver reaches a level of four NOTS points within a one-year period, six NOTS points within a two-year period, or eight NOTS points within a three-year period, DMV will send them a suspension and probation notice. The suspension is normally for six months and runs alongside the probationary period, which will continue for an additional six months unless there is another at-fault accident, conviction, or failure to appear (FTA) for a motor vehicle traffic incident.

Within ten days of receiving the notice to suspend, the driver can call, mail, or email the closest DMV Safety Office to request a hearing. Have your driver’s license (DL) handy as you will need to give the clerk your DL number.

Traffic School

Many drivers believe that attending traffic school will do away with a traffic ticket, which is not true. You will still need to pay the fine and administrative fees, surcharges, and assessments; in fact, it will cost more because you will need to pay an additional $24 administrative fee for the right to attend traffic school and then pay the traffic school, which could be anywhere from $20-$60. Which is totally worth the price if it can mask or hide your ticket from the insurance company. Remember, your “good driver’s discount” is worth 20 percent plus whatever rise in premium would occur, likely another 25-50 percent depending on the conviction.

As stated above, traffic school is not always the right course of action and you should always seek legal counsel before deciding on paying the fine and accepting traffic school if it is authorized.

It should state on your ticket or the reminder from the court whether traffic school is authorized. If your ticket states you must appear in court, you were driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you already used it for a ticket in the previous 18 months, non-moving violations, the charge relates to an alcohol or drug offense, or misdemeanor offenses you cannot attend traffic school and speeding 25 mph over must be approved by the judge.

Always Consult a Local Traffic Ticket Attorney

Bigger & Harman have been assisting clients with traffic tickets for more than a decade and will let you know if you need legal representation in court during a FREE initial consultation by phone, call Bigger & Harman. In Fresno, Kern, Kings, or other Central Valley Counties and in some SoCal locations such as San Bernardino, LA, or Riverside counties. Likewise, the FREE consult is confidential and without obligation. So, call today, 661-349-9300, or email the office, attorney@markbigger.com. You can also check their reviews on Yelp or visit their Facebook page.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.