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What To Do if You Lose Your Ticket

When you receive a traffic ticket, it usually boils down to two choices, fight the ticket or pay the fine. This is not a choice you should make without consulting a traffic ticket attorney if your ticket was for a moving violation. Most “fix-it” tickets require that you get the problem fixed and take your ticket and repair or correction receipt to the courthouse and a law enforcement officer (LEO) will sign off on the correction. You will then take those items to the court clerk, pay the required fees and you’re done. It’s not that easy with a traffic ticket for a moving violation, especially if you lose your ticket.

There are several things that you will need to consider when you lose your ticket. Some of these things might include some of the important information on the ticket, and if you need to appear in court for the ticket.

Important Information on a Traffic Ticket

There are a few things on a traffic ticket that are very important in Kern County or anywhere in CA. The most important detail on the ticket is what is known as “mandatory appearance” if your ticket specifies mandatory appearance, either you or your attorney must appear in court. The second most important item is the violation. This is going to be a description of the violation. For example, failure to stop at a red light is the most common violation in California. It normally states, “failure to stop for a red traffic light” and the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) that was violated, such as CVC 21453 (a) “A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the... “, and the officer will circle either “I” or “M”, for infraction or misdemeanor.

Other information on your ticket will include the vehicle make and model, color, registration number, and license plate number, which is not as important to you because you know all that information. But, the time, date and place of the alleged offense, the court date, and the ticketing officer’s name and badge number are very important. If Patrolman Jones ticketed you, Patrolman Smith cannot come to court to testify against you, it must be Jones. If Jones is not available the ticket will likely be dismissed.

Even if you do not have to appear in court, the court date is important because you must settle your ticket before that date or appear for arraignment. During the arraignment, you can plead not guilty and argue your case with the presiding court official or request a separate date. If you request a different date, you will normally have to pay bail (normally the amount of the fine), which will be returned to you if you are found not guilty, minus any fees.

If you Lose Your Ticket, Search the County Court Website

When you lose your ticket, you can search the county website. This is because California does not have a search engine to look for the lost traffic tickets. But, say you got a ticket in Kern County, CA, you can Google, Kern County traffic court and you might be able to find your ticket information. It generally takes 4-6 weeks before the ticket is put into the system. You can also contact the court clerk to ask for the details about your traffic ticket, such as those important items we discuss before and how much your ticket will cost if you decide to just pay the ticket.

The fine for a red-light violation is $100, but after the add-ons, such as state and county assessments, penalties, and other fees the total will be nearly $450 to $500, depending on which county and DMV will assess one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point. Whether you ran through that red-light or not, for nearly $500 and a NOTS point on your DL, you should take your day in court and make the state prove you did. Ask any traffic ticket attorney you want and they will likely tell you to fight the ticket, but Bigger & Harman won’t charge you for that phone consultation. In Bakersfield, call 349-9300.

Court Appearance in Kern County CA

When you lose your ticket, but find the court information and you must appear in court either as ordered or to plead your case, there are certain things you will need to do to prepare yourself for court. The first thing is to ask the advice and counsel of a traffic ticket attorney, then if the attorney says you should fight the ticket, dress professionally in business attire, arrive 30 minutes early, make sure you park in a legal spot for your status so you don't end up with another ticket, do not bring any weapons, and be prepared to spend the day. The other choice is to hire a local traffic ticket attorney to represent you.

Hire a Local Kern County Attorney

Just because you lose your ticket does not mean you need to lose your case. Mark Bigger and Paul Harman make up the legal team of Bigger & Harman, APC, they are ticket defenders and represent clients in Central Valley traffic courts in Kern, Tulare, Kings, Inyo, Fresno, and Mono counties and San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, and Los Angeles counties in Southern California (SoCal) courts in Bakersfield, Lamont, Shafter, Mojave, Ridgecrest, Delano, LA, Barstow, and many other major cities in Central and Southern California.

Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, or email: attorney@markbigger.com when you need legal advice or counsel or would like a traffic ticket attorney to represent you in court.

First, to be perfectly honest, not all traffic tickets require an attorney or even an appearance in court. There are times that it just makes more sense to pay the ticket and attend traffic school. However, without discussing it with an attorney, you are just taking a chance by paying the ticket. In many cases, an attorney can get the ticket dismissed or at the very least, reduced. That’s the reason for Bigger & Harman’s FREE phone consult. They will give you straightforward advice so you can make an intelligent decision. For a completely confidential and convenient appointment, you can use the website contact form.

Read the write-up on Nolo.com or check their reviews on Yelp to discover what family, friends, and neighbors have said about Bigger & Harman, a Central Valley traffic ticket legal team.

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