When you have one traffic ticket, it is usually cut and dry. Sometimes, when a ticket is not easily winnable, a traffic attorney will advise you to plead guilty and accept traffic violators school (TVS) rather than spend a lot of time in court. However, two or more traffic tickets can get complicated. It is always advisable to ask a traffic attorney.
The specific strategy to challenge traffic tickets depends largely on the reason for the ticket. It is also advisable to consult a traffic attorney before paying someone to prepare a Written Declaration. Even though they might guarantee if you don’t win, you don’t pay; when you use one of these and don’t win, you might deprive yourself of other methods of getting a dismissal or no-point reduction.
There is no benefit to TVS when you have more than one ticket, typically. However, you should always consult a traffic attorney before deciding to pay the fine or challenging the traffic tickets in court.
Traffic Tickets & TVS
The thing about TVS that most drivers do not understand is that it is not a ticket forgiveness program. You must plead guilty, pay your fine before the court allows you to attend TVS, and complete the DMV-approved program of instruction before the court-ordered completion date. What’s more, you must pay the county fee (usually around $65), tuition (it can vary from around $20 and up to $100), and the DMV (about $3) to file your completion certificate.
Therefore, when you have a traffic ticket for a camera-enforced red light ticket (the fine is usually $490), it could cost you around $600 to accept TVS. However, if you have another or get another traffic ticket within 18 months, the cost of attendance might be wasted. It might not be wise to spend time and money on TVS attendance. Once again, consult an attorney because a red light ticket and other traffic tickets might be winnable. In fact, many of these are. It is the state’s responsibility to prove what they accused you of doing.
What Are the Requirements for TVS Attendance for Traffic Tickets?
Although your court reminder might say you are eligible to attend TVS, they are only looking at the one violation. Suppose you have two traffic tickets issued on separate dates. In that case, your attendance is likely a waste of time and money, just as attending for a “non-moving” violation, a “fixit” ticket, or a cellphone ticket, which carries no negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points. Always consult an attorney. Many provide a free initial consultation.
To attend TVS, you must:
- Have a valid CA driver’s license
- Agree to plead guilty to a minor infraction.
- Not have a mandatory court date due to speeding 100+ mph, a misdemeanor, or a felony.
- Not have used TVS to mask other traffic tickets within the previous 18 months.
- Not have been operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when you received the ticket.
- Not have been accused of driving more than 25 mph over the speed limit, although a traffic attorney can often get a judge’s approval.
Therefore, if you have two or more traffic tickets or are a “habitual offender,” you should consult a traffic attorney before accepting TVS.
Excuses for Violations of Traffic Tickets Are Typically Not an Adequate Defense
Many drivers will take a day off from work to attend their arraignment, plead not guilty, and get another date to challenge their ticket or traffic tickets. However, they often use what amounts to an excuse to defend their action. These usually are not winnable:
- I was late and didn’t realize I was speeding.
- I didn’t know my license was suspended.
- I was just keeping up with other traffic.
- I might have rolled through the stop sign or red light, but I could see there was no traffic coming.
However, a traffic attorney can sometimes get a reduced charge for these traffic tickets or even a dismissal. Typically, traffic attorneys know the ticketing officer by sight and will know whether they are in the courtroom or not.
Likewise, an experienced traffic attorney knows which judge will hear the case, and they know whether that judge usually accepts a specific defense. It is no longer possible to negotiate for a reduced charge with anyone but the judge.
Who Can Help Resolve My Traffic Tickets in Tulare County, CA?
When you have complications caused by traffic tickets in Porterville or Visalia, CA, or you need advice about accepting TVS, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
References:The 2020 CA Driver Handbook .pdf