Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedMany look up the cost of a fine for speeding on the internet, go to the courthouse, and attempt to pay the $35, $70, or $100 that was quoted online. However, that was the “base fine” written into the traffic code in 1959 or thereabouts.

Since most traffic codes were written decades ago, the CA Assembly, Senate, and Governor have approved ten surcharges, penalties, and assessments that make the actual fine five to seven times that base fine many sites quote. The $35 base fine is actually $237 for 1-15 mph over, the $70 base fine is $360 for 16-24 mph over, and the $100 base fine is $490 for 25 mph over up to 100 mph.

There is another category for speeding over 100 mph. You can read about that in our article,  “Why You Need a Traffic Attorney If You’ve Been Ticketed for Speeding over 100 MPH in CA.”

Before you decide to “just pay the fine” and move on, you need the “truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” The ugly truth is that California has some of the highest traffic fines in America, and the fine is only the “tip of the iceberg.”

The average Californian’s auto insurance premium will increase close to $700 annually for even a single conviction after years of safe driving. First, they’ll take your “good driver’s discount” of 20%. That’s typically $458 per year, and then they’ll add the inherent risk due to speeding, depending largely on the mph over the limit or safe driving speed. 

Your actual insurance premium increase could be three or four times the fine!

Typically, that risk is 10-12% if convicted for speeding less than 25 miles per hour over. However, that additional risk could cost another $229 or more per year. Now, your premium is $687 more annually for three years. 

Considering your paid fine and increased insurance, a single speeding incident could cost you $2,550 over the three years that the conviction will remain on your motor vehicle driving record (MVR). Still think you want to “just pay the fine?”

You might even be able to attend traffic violator’s school (TVS) to keep it confidential, but you should always discuss it with a traffic attorney. You won’t always be eligible.

But most drivers will think consulting a traffic attorney is too expensive. However, you can typically hire a traffic attorney for a relatively small percentage of that $2,550 and keep about $1,500 in the family budget. Even when they cannot get a dismissal, they can often get a no-point conviction or approval for TVS, which would keep your insurance premium the same.

Reasons You Might Not Be Eligible for TVS       

  1. The most-vital eligibility requirement is that your traffic violation must have been a minor infraction. Major infractions (like speeding 100+ mph), misdemeanors (like reckless driving, speed contests, etc.), and felonies (like a hit & run with injuries) are not eligible for masking with TVS attendance.
  2. You can only use TVS to mask or keep confidential a minor infraction every 18 months from conviction to conviction or the date of your guilty plea. 
  3. Contrary to what some internet sites claim, TVS is not a “get out of jail free card,” you must plead guilty, pay the full fine amount, county admin fee, and tuition costs.
  4. For speeding 25+ mph over the posted speed or safe driving speed, you must gain the traffic court judge’s approval to attend. The court clerk cannot authorize attendance. Although, you could get permission yourself, the most practical method is to get a traffic attorney to do it for you. They know the traffic court judges and which ones often grant approval, so they won’t ask the one who never approves it. The money you’ll save by no increase in premiums will easily cover the attorney’s fees.
  5. All violations with mandatory court appearances and violations in a commercial motor vehicle(CMV) are not eligible. This means that juveniles are not eligible. Although a juvenile court judge could order the juvenile to attend. Also, juveniles are typically not a part of the negligent operator treatment system (NOTS).  
  6. Alcohol and drug-related charges are usually misdemeanors and are not eligible. 
  7. Although you could attend TVS for the knowledge and experience, there is no financial benefit. The primary purpose of TVS is to keep the conviction of one minor infraction confidential to keep your insurance premium level.   
  8. You must have a valid CA driver’s license.
  9. Never use TVS for a “fixit” ticket, such as loud exhaust or no proof of insurance in possession. Just make the necessary corrections and show it to the ticketing officer, they’ll sign off on it, take it to the county court clerk, pay the admin fee, and you’re done.
  10. You must use a DMV-approved school and finish so that your completion certificate reaches the DMV before the court-ordered completion date. If you fail to complete it on time, you forfeit the fees, fine, and tuition, and the conviction becomes a public record. When your insurance provider learns of your conviction, typically at renewal, your premium will go up and stay up for 36 to 39 months, depending on your renewal date.

So, it could get complicated, depending on the circumstances. These are only a few of the requirements. A traffic attorney would have better information, knowing all the circumstances. Don’t worry that a traffic attorney will provide bad advice to get you as a client. 

A good traffic attorney is too busy for shenanigans like that, and we know the best way to get repeat clients is to treat them right and resolve their tickets in the most favorable financial manner available. That usually means TVS attendance if eligible.  

Consult with Bigger & Harman About Your Speeding Ticket in Fresno County

Always consult a traffic attorney about a speeding ticket. In many cases, it could be easier and less expensive to challenge it in court.  

Call Bigger & Harman in Bakersfield at (661) 349-9300 when you need assistance or advice about a speeding ticket due in the Fresno County Courthouse. Likewise, use their straightforward contact form or email

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

CVC Section 22350 Speed Laws.

The article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.

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