The safest and frequently the most inexpensive method to resolve a traffic ticket in traffic court is with a traffic ticket defense attorney.
Many drivers still believe a traffic attorney is too expensive for them to consider. If you can’t afford the fine and inherent increase in auto insurance premiums with a paid fine or conviction, you can’t afford not to consult an attorney.
Many traffic attorneys, like Bigger & Harman, APC, will resolve your traffic ticket in traffic court without your attendance using a flat fee. That means you will know how much it will cost before agreeing to let them represent you. That flat fee will not change regardless of how many hours they spend adjudicating your case in traffic court.
In some cases, that flat fee could be cheaper than the fine, but it is always cheaper than the rise in auto insurance premiums. The attorneys at Bigger & Harman will provide you with a straightforward analysis of your case. Win or lose, you will almost always come out better off than by simply pleading guilty and paying the fine to the county.
Traffic court is unlike anything you’ve seen on TV or in the movies. You might sit all day waiting for your name to be called and only have five minutes to present your case to the judge. If you get stage fright or tongue-tied, you could hear the judge say, “Guilty, pay the court clerk the $490. Next.”
Plus, if you represent yourself (which is not advisable, even lawyers in other niches hire a traffic attorney to resolve their tickets), you better come prepared. There are no “15-minutes recesses” to call a witness that’s not there. However, to your benefit, if the law enforcement officer (LEO) is not there to present their evidence against you, you or your lawyer can request a dismissal. You have the Constitutional Right to face your accuser.
If convicted, your fine will likely be one-fourth of your total expense. The loss of your “good driver’s discount” of 20% and increase in your auto insurance premium depending on the violations you are convicted of will usually lead to a 30-35 percent increase in your premium whenever your insurance provider discovers your conviction usually at renewal.
Typically, the more significant the charge, the higher the fine. Speeding 1-15 mph over the limit is usually $237 and a 30% increase in premiums, but speeding 100+ mph is between $900 and $2,500, and $100 to 200% increase if they retain you as a client.
How will your insurance company learn of your conviction? When the court notifies the DMV, they will assess the appropriate number of Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points, which is public information. Your insurance company can request a copy of your driving record before renewal.
The CA DMV’s Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
The California DMV has a driver program called NOTS. NOTS is a series of laddered steps that can result in the suspension and concurrent probation of your driving privileges for six and twelve months, respectively.
Even a minor infraction like speeding or a red light violation that you are not eligible to attend traffic violator’s school to keep confidential from the public, such as your insurance provider, employer or school registration or scholarship officials will lead to a NOTS points assessment by the DMV.
For example, a person might accumulate more than four points in one year with as few as two tickets and one at-fault accident.
The NOTS system is based on "points" added to a driver's driving record upon conviction of a moving violation with their vehicle or an accident the investigator puts more than 0% blame on them for the crash. Even though the other driver was found 90% at fault and you 10% at fault, you both received one NOTS point for the accident.
It seems unfair, but that is the system. You can always hire a traffic attorney and challenge the investigators' findings. Likewise, if it reaches the point where you get an “Order of Suspension/Probation” from the DMV, you can request a DMV NOTS hearing to present your case, and the board could remove points.
If the driver cannot get points removed from their records, the DMV will suspend or revoke their driver's license. Typically, the NOTS program is a twelve-month process, which means that a motorist will get a six-month suspension and concurrent twelve-month probation.
Any ticket, failure to appear or accident (regardless of fault) during those 12 months will result in another twelve months under the DMV magnifying glass with six months more suspension and twelve months’ probation.
Two-Point NOTS Violations
- Reckless driving,
- Speeding 100+ mph,
- Hit and run,
- Exhibitions of Speed,
- Speed Contests,
- Driving on the wrong side of a divided highway,
- Violations of child restraint laws,
- No driver's license or driving under suspension, and
- Other violations not listed that are misdemeanors or felonies.
One-Point NOTS Violations
All other convictions that are a minor infraction or at-fault accident that are not identified in CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12810, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses, as two-point violations:
- Speeding less than 100 mph,
- Failure to Stop for a red light or stop sign,
- Illegal U-turn,
- An unsafe lane change
- Following too close, and
- Other minor infractions
If you’re wondering whether your traffic ticket is for an infraction or misdemeanor, check your citation. If the “I” was circled by the law enforcement officer, it is an infraction.
Choose a Bakersfield, CA, Traffic Attorney to Resolve Your Ticket in Tulare County Traffic Court
Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300 is the Bakersfield Traffic team that regularly resolves traffic tickets for Porterville and Visalia drivers in traffic court.
We handle only traffic issues in traffic court or at a DMV NOTS hearing for CA drivers. We have found that practicing only traffic law allows us to offer our clients a better probability of a successful outcome because we have more knowledge and experience in traffic court than those who choose not to specialize.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
CVC Section 12810, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses,
The DMV NOTS Portal.