August 14, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

Being sighted for one of the many traffic violations in California associated with failing to yield can end up costing you hundreds of dollars in fines, a suspension of your license, and even a raise in car insurance premiums. To help prevent having to deal with these consequences, here are a few of the most common failure to yield violations to become familiar with.

VC 21451 & VC 21453 – Right of Way in Intersections
If another vehicle is in the intersection before you, you must give them the right of way, even if your light is green, you have already come to a complete stop at a stop sign, or before making a right turn on a red light. You do not have to wait until the intersection is completely cleared before entering, but you must not deliberately crowd other vehicles. Whether you are a crowding another vehicle is a subjective interpretation by the citing officer. This kind of subjectivity can be brought into question in court, and an experienced attorney can often create the reasonable doubt necessary for a finding of not guilty. NOTE: VC 21453, dealing with failure to yield at a red light, is a particularly harsh offense with a base fine of $100, which, with penalty assessments and various court fees, will cost you over $400 for a conviction.

VC 21800 – Uncontrolled Four Way Stops
Remember driver’s ed? If you and one or more vehicles get to a four way stop at the same time, the vehicle to your right has the right of way. However, if any vehicle came to a complete stop first, then that vehicle has the right of way. This violation is often cited when an officer comes to the scene of an accident which they did not see. If this is the case, it is important to remember to never admit to the officer that the other vehicle was there first or that you were at fault. Your admissions can and will be used against you in court.

VC 21801 (a) – Left or U-turn
When you are making a left or U-turn and there is no controlled green arrow signal, you must yield to oncoming traffic. Again, this is another very subjective interpretation by the officer, and it is also another infraction that can be successfully challenged by a skilled California criminal defense attorney.

If you have been cited for any of these failure to yield violations, it would be wise of you to contact an attorney from Wallin & Klarich today. Often, these sorts of tickets can be reduced to non-moving infractions, which do not result in a point on your record (or an increase in your car insurance) or even completely dismissed. With over 30 years of experience in California criminal defense, Wallin & Klarich attorneys have dealt with all of these infractions before, and will be able to give you the best possible chance to win in court.

Call Wallin & Klarich today at 1-888-280-6839, or visit us online at, to speak to one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.

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