The worst thing you can do about a Fresno County, CA speeding ticket is ignore it. On the other hand, the best thing you can do about a speeding ticket is consult a traffic ticket attorney.
Some believe that an attorney is an attorney and there’s no difference. However, an attorney that focuses on traffic law has the courtroom experience gained by hearing many other traffic cases while waiting for their clients’ name to be called. Not just their clients, but all traffic tickets.
Successful arguments are remembered and a version of it might apply to one of their client's case. Also, knowing how a judge typically rules on specific traffic disputes could benefit you. But, if you hire “Cousin Vinnie,” the divorce lawyer to represent you, he might be as lost in traffic court as you would be.
Traffic court even in Fresno, CA gets very busy. You are expected to be ready on your case when called and know exactly what to do and say. Plus, when you hire a traffic attorney, they know what elements of the traffic code the State must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Whereas it’s true that a divorce attorney could learn the code—a traffic attorney knows it both intellectually and how to strategically attack the peoples argument, due to many hours per week hearing speeding cases get resolved.
What to Do About a Speeding Ticket in Fresno, CA?
The best option is to consult a traffic attorney. The worse choice would be to ignore it. It won’t go away just because you stuff it into your glove compartment. That’s funny on a TV Sitcom, but the opposite is true in real life (IRL), especially considering a failure to appear (FTA) is a misdemeanor crime in CA.
“A person willfully violating his or her written promise to appear or a lawfully granted continuance of his or her promise to appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail is guilty of a misdemeanor regardless of the disposition of the charge upon which he or she was originally arrested.“—CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 40508 (a), Release Upon Promise to Appear.
Now, you might be thinking, I didn’t “promise to appear.” However, when you signed your speeding ticket, you essential entered into an “unwritten contract” between you and the people of California promising to appear or resolve the ticket. This “assumptive contract” allows drivers to be released without posting bail.
“WARNING: If you fail to address your citation by the due date a civil assessment of up to $300 may be added to your balance and you may be deemed to have elected to proceed to a trial by written declaration pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 40903.”—Fresno County Courts, Traffic Division.
Letting your speeding ticket go to “trial by written declaration” could back you into a corner. Your best option is to consult a traffic ticket defender before deciding about challenging the ticket or accepting Traffic Violator’s School (TVS).
Nothing about a speeding ticket is “cut and dry.” There are several technicalities drivers are unaware of when it comes to speed measurement. Although speed traps are not as prevalent in CA as in some states, it is a consideration. Some drivers might think that the CHP hiding on their motorcycle behind a tree is “entrapment,” but it is legal in CA. An entrapment might have occurred if a Caltrans speed survey wasn’t conducted within the past five years, or the conducted survey didn’t justify the speed limit.
Likewise, a law enforcement officer (LEO) using a landmark as a starting point and another as the endpoint, while measuring the speed manually is a “speed trap.” This method presumes that the LEO had flawless reflexes to start and stop the time perfectly.
But, a traffic court judge might allow a seasoned traffic officer to “estimate” your speed in hazardous conditions such as rain, sleet, fog, or ice. This is based on the wording in CVC 22350, Speed Laws.
“No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.”
Failure to consult a traffic ticket defender could create financial difficulties for up to three years after you pay the fine. A paid fine or conviction will stay on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) in CA for 36 to 39 months.
When the LEO doesn’t show for the trial portion of your ticket process, you can ask for a dismissal. This request is not allowed at the arraignment unless both are scheduled together. Traffic attorneys know many of the LEOs and will know if they are not present.
Likewise, a traffic attorney can subpoena calibration records for the speed measurement device used and the training record of the LEO on the device. You could do this too if you have the knowledge and experience.
Even attending TVS doesn’t “forgive” your speeding ticket as is rumored on the internet. You must first confess or plead guilty to the violation for which you were accused, pay the full amount of the fine, the admin fee to Fresno County, tuition, and complete it before the court-ordered completion date so that the completion certificate arrives at the DMV on time.
The Real Cost of a Fresno County Speeding Ticket
However, guilt or innocence should never be the determining factor whether you dispute your ticket.
When you merely pay the fine for the speeding ticket, it could cost hundreds or thousands in increased auto insurance premiums. Especially, if you are a teen driver or even up to age 25. As you may be aware, the annual premium with a teen on the policy and no violations could be thousands more.
Losing your “good driver’s discount” for a speeding ticket could cost $1,400 more, plus the added “risk”associated with the mph over the speed limit. Even the lowest percentage increase of 11% will add another $770.
Always consult a traffic ticket defender to get knowledgeable advice before you decide to challenge or pay. Financially, hiring a traffic attorney could preserve your auto insurance budget.
Ask Bigger & Harman, APC, about Your Speeding Ticket in Fresno County
When you get a speeding ticket in Fresno County, CA, call (661) 349-9300 for a consultation with the professional, practicing traffic attorneys, Bigger & Harman, APC.
We practice only traffic law with a flat fee to resolve your speeding ticket in Fresno County, CA.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The 2021 CA Driver Handbook Englishy Español.
California Rules of Court 4.104.
The Traffic Division of Fresno County Court website.
CVC 22350, Speed Laws, CVC Section 40508 (a), Release Upon Promise to Appear.