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Taking Care of Your Traffic Tickets During the Pandemic

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Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, people are in a rush on the roads. Road rage is still prevalent. The CHP and sheriff’s office personnel are out there on the roads enforcing traffic laws. And yes, it is still necessary to get an attorney to ensure your rights and driving privileges are protected. Having an experienced traffic attorney can greatly benefit you when you have a traffic ticket.

Traffic Tickets in California

There are several things to avoid if you do not want to get ticketed in CA. This includes: speeding; using a cell phone while driving, unless it is a hands-free device; and speeding up to get through a traffic light before it turns red. That’s correct. Many drivers do not realize it is illegal to step on the gas to get through a yellow light before it turns red. 

However, the Governor’s “stay-at-home” order makes it unlawful to do most things except “to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job.” 

Effects of the Lockdown

On March 28, 2020, a Judicial Council approved temporary emergency measures that include directing the Superior Courts of each county to conduct judicial proceedings and court operations remotely whenever possible. 

They specifically mention the use of video, audio, and telephone for remote appearances. An attorney is likely to have all the necessary equipment in their office to make video-conferencing easier and electronically file documents.

Likewise, many counties have decided to postpone a traffic ticket hearing for 90 days. An order by the Los Angeles and Orange County Superior Court gives drivers a 90-day automatic extension for all traffic-related issues. However, it might be wise to enlist the aid of a traffic attorney now to collect information, elicit witnesses, and preserve evidence to clear your traffic ticket once this crisis is over.

Attorneys Who Regularly Handle Tulare County Traffic Tickets

The essential reason for hiring an attorney is not only financial, but also to protect your driving privileges. The cost of paying the fine for even a minor infraction is usually over $235 once you factor in surcharges and other fees. If you are a commercial driver, the cost of that traffic ticket could be easily over $1,000.00. Many convictions include an extreme increase in auto insurance premiums. 

If convicted, the fine is typically the smaller penalty. Auto insurance premiums can skyrocket with only one violation when you are ineligible for Traffic Violator’s School.

Although most traffic violations do not lead to jail time, but it is possible, even with a first-time offender, if it is a misdemeanor or felony. Likewise, failing to resolve a traffic ticket or appear in court to resolve it can result in a misdemeanor charge according to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear. That section of the CA traffic code warns drivers that a failure to resolve or “…to appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail is guilty of a misdemeanor…”

The primary difference between an infraction and a misdemeanor is jail time.

There are many methods to fight traffic violations that the average person is not aware of or experienced enough to challenge a traffic ticket in court. This includes challenging evidence, or the methods and tactics law enforcement used.

We also represent drivers at the DMV’s Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) hearing. The panel will look at the entire motor vehicle driving record (MVR) of the individual to include mitigating and aggravating circumstances. They also consider removing traffic tickets or at-fault accidents that may have been erroneously filed or are inaccurate. We are experienced in assisting clients at these hearings. It is imperative to contact us because you only have ten days from the notice to request a hearing.

Hiring an attorney can assist in keeping the costs of getting a traffic ticket down and reduce the possibility of jail time if you are facing a misdemeanor or felony. It is advisable when you have a traffic ticket to call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf

The KTLA articleL.A., O.C. courts grant grace period for traffic infractions amid coronavirus

CVC 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear

The Natlawreview article, COVID-19: California Institutes Statewide “Stay at Home” Order to Combat COVID-19