Vista Courthouse Location
Vista Courthouse is located at 325 South Melrose in Vista, CA 92081. This courthouse handles DUI, traffic tickets, criminal matters including both misdemeanors and felonies, and civil matters. Vista Courthouse serves the greater North County San Diego area. Located off the 78 freeway, just south of the 78 and about half way between the 15 and 5 freeways, Vista Courthouse is in the center of the North County San Diego. Traffic getting in and out of the Vista courthouse for cases heard at 830 in the morning can be very challenging as rapid growth in North San Diego County has lead to gridlock.
Vista Courthouse Parking
Vista Courthouse parking is a bright spot because it’s free. Many courts in the San Diego superior court system and almost all courts in neighboring Orange County and LA charge for parking. Vista Courthouse is still keeping it real with free parking. The only drawback is that the lot is slightly undersized and can fill up at times. We recommend arriving early so you can find a free spot. When you are facing the courthouse the building to the left handles civil matters, the building in the center handles criminal, and the smaller building to the far right handles traffic tickets. In the mornings when the lot starts to fill up, your best chance at finding parking is to the far right near the smaller traffic court building as many traffic ticket appearances are scheduled for the afternoon session.
Vista Criminal Court
Vista Courthouse includes the Vista Criminal Court system. Criminal court hears DUI matters, cases for driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, domestic violence charges, theft charges, and drug charges. Most crimes fall into one of these categories although there are other crimes as well. Vista Courthouse handles them all. So whether the charge is misdemeanor, felony, or strike offense, the case can be heard in the Vista Courthouse. Anyone facing a criminal charge should consider contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney to protect their rights. On a misdemeanor case, a lawyer can generally appear without the need for you to be present in court under PC 977(a). On felony matters you will need to be present and face the judge, but when you do you will be glad you have the lawyer of your choice standing next to you. If you are unable to afford the services of a privately retained criminal defense lawyer, you can request the appointment of the Public Defender at your court appearance.
Vista Traffic Court
Vista Courthouse also handles pure traffic ticket matters. Traffic court does NOT include DUI’s or other misdemeanor traffic offenses as those matters are heard in criminal court. Traffic court handles other simple traffic tickets such as speeding tickets, stop sign violations, other moving violations, and correctable infractions such as driving without insurance or registration. Traffic tickets in California are serious business as fines can often be in excess of $1000 per ticket and any moving violations will result in a point on your DMV record. Increased insurance premiums can be painful and if you get too many points, the DMV will pull your license as a negligent operator. Traffic court is also infamous for collections issues which can also lead to a suspended license based on failure to appear in court or failure to pay your fine. If you are in this situation, it may be time to contact a qualified traffic attorney to help clean up the mess.