I. What to do when you get a traffic citation in California
If you get a traffic citation in California, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to minimize the impact on your driving record and your wallet.
II. Understand your options
You have three main options when you get a traffic citation:
- Plead guilty or no contest and pay the fine. This is the simplest option, but it will also add points to your driving record.
- Plead not guilty and go to court. If you believe you were wrongfully cited, you can plead not guilty and go to court to contest the citation. However, if you are found guilty, you may have to pay a higher fine and court costs.
- Attend traffic school. If you qualify, you may be able to attend traffic school to mask the points on your driving record. This is a good option if you want to avoid getting a point on your driver’s license and thus, avoiding a higher insurance rate.
- Hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney to fight the ticket. For most people, this is the best option. Hiring an attorney means you don’t have to go to court yourself and you have an experienced professional handling your ticket and getting you the best possible outcome for your citation.
III. Decide what to do
The best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances. If you are not sure what to do, you may want to consult with an attorney.
If you decide to plead guilty or no contest, you can usually pay the fine online, by mail, or in person at the courthouse. Be sure to pay the fine by the deadline on your ticket.
If you decide to plead not guilty, you will need to appear in court on the date and time listed on your ticket. Be sure to bring the ticket with you to court.
If you qualify for traffic school, you will need to enroll in a course and complete it before your traffic school deadline. You can find a list of approved traffic schools on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.
IV. Pay the fine or attend traffic school
If you are required to pay a fine, you can do so online, by mail, or in person at the courthouse. Be sure to pay the fine by the deadline on your ticket.
If you are attending traffic school, be sure to complete the course before the deadline on your ticket. You will need to submit proof of completion to the court.
V. Follow up
After you have paid the fine or attended traffic school, be sure to follow up with the court to make sure that your case has been closed. You can do this by checking your driving record online or by contacting the court directly.
VI. Additional tips
Here are a few additional tips for dealing with a traffic citation in California:
- Be polite and respectful to the officer who pulled you over. This will make them more likely to be lenient with you.
- Don’t argue with the officer. If you disagree with the citation, you can contest it in court.
- Get the officer’s name and badge number. This will help you identify the officer if you need to contest the citation in court.
- Write down everything you can remember about the incident. This will help you if you need to contest the citation in court.
- Keep a copy of your traffic ticket. You will need it if you need to contest the citation in court or if you need to attend traffic school.
By following these tips, you can minimize the impact of a traffic citation on your driving record and your wallet.
VII. We Can Help
The Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher has been handling citations successfully for over 20 years. Most traffic tickets are worth fighting and when you have an experienced attorney by your side, you increase the chances of getting the best possible outcome for your particular case. If you or a loved one was cited for a traffic violation and you’d like to fight it, call our offices at 800-797-8406 or visit our website at https://www.socaldefenselawyers.com/ for more information.