Request the County Seat and Beat that traffic ticket
Request the county seat and get rid of a traffic ticket. How does this work? Here is the scenario, while traveling in an unfamiliar location, you find yourself lost and you need to turn around. As you do so, you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer whom is not willing to listen to your story of distress and confusion. Is there any way to avoid traveling out to this remote location and fighting this traffic ticket in unfamiliar territory? Yes, by requesting that the case be heard “in the county seat,” you can request the county seat and ensure that the case be moved to a more central location.
The county seat is often the political and administrative center of the city. Often times in the downtown area of the county’s largest city. This is helpful when you are stopped on a traffic violation when traveling a great distance from your home or if you are pulled over in a remote area of the county. This can also be done when near the border of the county, when you feel the ticket can be better contested at the center of the county rather than an outlying courthouse you may be unfamiliar with. This is an effective tool in a county as large as Los Angeles that stretches thousands of square miles.
How to Request the County Seat
When you are cited for a traffic or minor criminal offense in California, as soon as you feel the officer will be issuing a citation, inform the officer that you would like to request the county seat. That’s it! Just tell the officer you are requesting this matter be heard in the county seat and the officer must set the ticket at that location under the California Vehicle Code.
Advantages when you request the county seat:
- The county seat maybe closer to your home or work and cut down the travel time.
- The officer may not be familiar with the courthouse procedures and the Judges on the bench.
- The officer may have further to travel to contest the ticket and simply not contest it, not show up, and you will successfully defeat the ticket.
Disadvantages when you request the county seat:
- When you request the county seat it puts the officer on notice that you will be contesting the ticket, and they may pay closer attention, make extra notes, and add facts to help them remember to ensure the case is solid.
- If the officer has to drive across the county just for your ticket, they may be less likely to make any amendments, leniency concessions, or positive recommendations to the Judge.
If the Officer Refuses when you request the county seat
Do not argue with the officer. Simply write the words– “Requested the county seat”, next to your signature on the citation when asked to sign the ticket to acknowledge your promise to appear. Don’t be afraid to write next to your signature that you request the county seat in front of the officer when asked to sign. This will serve as your proof if the officer contests that the request was ever made.
Tips to remember when you request the county seat
- The request must be made before the citation is written.
- If you live or work close to the county seat, indicate such to the officer.
It’s also important to note that some counties have declared more than one courthouse the county seat. In its 150 year history, the California state legislature created 59 counties (only 58 are left) but designated 95 different places as county seats.
Most California counties, 35 of them, have had only one county seat but 24 counties have had more than one county seat. In this rare case, the citation can be heard in any place designated as a county seat.
If you need help handling your traffic ticket, contact an experienced traffic court attorney. We can help you solve your traffic ticket issue and in most cases you won’t even need to appear in court. If you require representation on the above or any other criminal or traffic matter, feel free to call The Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher at (800) 797–8406
California traffic courts that are currently serving as the county seat:
– Crescent City
– El Centro
– Nevada City
– Red Bluff
– San Andreas
– San Bernardino
– San Diego
– San Francisco
– San Jose
– San Luis Obispo
– San Rafael
– Santa Barbara
– Santa Cruz
– Santa Rosa
– Yuba City