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How to Handle a Traffic Ticket with Minimal Stress

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A traffic ticket can be an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony depending on the circumstances. When you look at your citation if the “I” is circled, it is an infraction, and when the “M” is circled, it is a misdemeanor. When charged with a misdemeanor or felony, it is best not to discuss any circumstances with a law enforcement officer (LEO) or officer of the court without a lawyer present. If you have any doubt about the charge, consult an attorney.

I Really Don’t Have Time for This!

When you receive a traffic ticket, many people believe the easiest and most cost-effective method of handling it is to pay the fine. In some cases, that might be the easiest way, but it is rarely the most inexpensive. Many drivers assume it will be much too expensive to hire a lawyer. Therefore, they go to the court clerk and pay the fine. Then, for the next three years, they continue to pay by way of increased insurance premiums. Even a minor infraction will stay on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) for 36-39 months unless you are eligible to attend traffic school. 

Traffic School

You are only authorized to attend traffic school once within an 18-month period, from conviction to conviction, to keep the ticket/conviction confidential, which means your insurance company will not see it or raise your premiums. You cannot use traffic school to mask a ticket if you were driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV); you have a mandatory court appearance; it was alcohol or drug-related; a major infraction, misdemeanor, or felony; you don’t have a valid CA driver’s license (DL); or for a non-moving violation. 

Driving 25 mph over the speed limit must get approval from the traffic court judge, and usually requires an appearance by either you or your attorney. 

The Convenience of Hiring a Traffic Ticket Attorney

When you hire a traffic ticket attorney to handle your traffic ticket, they can make all necessary appearances in court for you. This can be more than convenient; it could save you from taking time off from work and save you the embarrassment of everyone, including your employer,  knowing you received a traffic ticket. 

To some, that might not seem like a big deal. After all, many people get traffic tickets and if you do not drive for a living, what difference does it make? Many employers consider ticketed employees irresponsible, and you might get passed over for a promotion or a position of increased responsibility. 

Likewise, when you do drive for a living and hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if you don’t tell your employer, the DMV will notify them through the Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program. Even when you are convicted or paid the fine for a traffic ticket outside CA, you must notify your employer within 30 days, even when ticketed in a private vehicle. Plus, many fleet managers employ a policy of zero-tolerance for traffic tickets.   

Every driver should do their best to obey traffic laws. However, if you do get a ticket, the best way to avoid a conviction is to hire a ticket attorney.      

Inyo County Traffic Ticket Attorneys

When you receive a traffic ticket in Inyo  County, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español 661.349.9755. Bigger & Harman, APC practices only traffic ticket law. We regularly represent clients in Independence and Bishop Traffic Court. 

We resolve tickets for our clients using a fixed fee so that you will know how much you will pay before we proceed. Give us a call for a free consultation without obligation.

We don’t win every case, and we won’t claim we can win yours. However, we quite frequently get tickets reduced when we can’t get a dismissal. 

Or, send us an email, attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com, with the particulars of your case and include a photocopy of your citation. We’ll reply with our suggested approach and our fee.

References:

The CA DMV Portal

The 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf