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Articles Posted in Traffic Violations

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You may think fighting your traffic ticket seems like a waste. You may feel “a cop says I was speeding, and it’s going to be her word against mine,” so why bother?ticketsm

Wrong. Fighting a traffic ticket is always a good choice because you have the chance to have your fine dismissed and to prevent any points from being added to your record from the ticket. There is no additional penalty for contesting a ticket.

If you decide to fight your ticket in court, there are several ways to increase your chance at winning your case. Here are five tips that you should keep in mind when fighting your ticket.

  • Trial By Declaration

Suppose you are ticketed for running a stop sign. With minor traffic violations like this, you can request a Trial by Declaration in which you submit a written declaration on a form to the court. On this form, you will plead not guilty to the traffic offense, and explain the facts that you believe show you are not guilty.

When drafting your declaration, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced traffic attorney. You will be signing the form under penalty of perjury, so you cannot lie in your declaration. However, that does not mean you are required to admit that you are guilty. Your attorney can help you draft a statement that does not lie, but does not admit guilt.

The officer who gave you the ticket will be asked to submit his or her own statement about your offense. Based on a comparison of the two statements, the court may dismiss your violation or find you guilty. The good news is that California law allows you a second trial if you are found guilty. So, the trial by declaration is a good choice because it costs you no additional fines and it allows you two chances to beat your ticket.

  • Show Up!

In every court case, there are two ways to lose: not to show up or to show up late. Courts have a lot of cases to work through each day, and judges want to get through them as efficiently as possible.

Remember that a traffic ticket is a promise on your part to appear in court on a specific date. If you break this promise by not showing up, the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest for failing to appear, which can result in additional fines and a hold on your license. The court can also decide to try your traffic case without you. If you cannot appear, you should speak to an attorney about appearing for you.

  • Gather Evidence

Perhaps a construction crew that was working on the sidewalk obstructed your view of the stop sign. Maybe a vandal had stolen the stop sign and it was not there when the officer stopped you. These would be facts that explain why you rolled through the stop, and you are allowed to bring evidence of these facts to the court’s attention.

If you can, go back to the scene of your violation and take photographs that show these factors exist. Continue reading →

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“If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” This expression is often used in reference to criminal cases in which someone accused of a crime wants to avoid being sent to jail. But what happens if you aren’t facing jail time? What can you do if you were cited for a driving violation and fined, but you can’t afford to pay the amount?

Will Your Driver’s License Be Suspended? (CVC 14601)

A traffic ticket involves harsher consequences than you see on your citation. If you were cited for a traffic violation, the amount you may have to pay in fines is likely much more than it may indicate on your ticket. That is because there are additional charges and fees associated with a traffic ticket. A fine of $100 could actually cost you about $500 when factoring in those additional court fees.ticketsm-300x200.jpg

For this reason, you may think that ignoring your traffic ticket may be the best thing to do. “This is way too much money to pay for such a little violation,” you may think. However, ignoring your traffic ticket could lead to even more serious penalties. The DMV can suspend your driver’s license if you fail to pay your traffic fines.

This means that if you were cited for having a broken taillight or issued a ticket for having tinted windows, you could potentially lose your driving privileges in California if you don’t pay the fine.

Is this fair?

Lawsuit Claims Driver’s License Suspension for Unpaid Fines is Unlawful

It would make sense for courts to have a system in place for those who cannot afford to pay the entirety of their traffic fines. Well, that is what the Western Center on Law and Poverty and USC Gould School of Law believe.

The two organizations recently filed a joint lawsuit against the Los Angeles Superior Court regarding what they are claiming is the unlawful practice of suspending the driver’s licenses of those who cannot pay traffic fines. Continue reading →

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Few inconveniences in life are as annoying as receiving a traffic fine. Sure, you know you’ve done something wrong; but the crime seems so small, and the fines so large. Many will simply sigh and relegate themselves to paying the fines. Others refuse to pay their fines.

Traffic Ticket CaliforniaIt would be nice to think of these people as some sort of traffic fine vigilantes, refusing to pay out of disgust for the seemingly disproportionate punishment. However, many who receive traffic fines cannot afford to pay them.

Often, they must commit to payment plans, but hiccups in employment or financial troubles can create a snowball effect. Once you are delinquent on a traffic fine, collection agencies will start to tack on fees. They will alert the DMV, who will suspend your driver’s license. This makes earning money to pay off the fines nearly impossible. All the while, your total fines continue to increase.

It is no surprise, then, that traffic fines tend to impact low-income and minority Californians the most. In an effort to curb the problem, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law an amnesty program for old traffic tickets which will run from October 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017. If you have unpaid traffic fines making life difficult for you, you may be eligible for the program.

The Ins-and-Outs of California’s Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program

Beginning October 1, 2015, you will be eligible for the program if you have an unpaid ticket which was originally due on or before January 1, 2013, but have not made payment after June 24, 2015.

The program allows you to reduce your fine amount by 50%. If your yearly income is 125% or less than the federal poverty level, then you will qualify to have the ticket amount reduced by 80%. For a single person, this amount is $14,712. For a family of four, this is $30,312. Along with the discount, you may be eligible to have your driver’s license reinstated.

Continue reading →

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A new law allows drivers in California to fight their traffic tickets before being required to pay citation fees and fines. The California Judicial Council recently voted to end “bail for trial” in traffic courts across the state.

Fight Traffic Ticket FinesUntil this action by the Judicial Council, if you received a traffic ticket in most California counties, you were required to pay the ticket fines and fees before you could schedule a court date to contest the ticket. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, the “bail for trial” policy of traffic court violated the rights of Californians and unfairly targeted low-income people.1

Over the last 10 years, the driving privileges of nearly five million Californians were suspended due to unpaid traffic tickets. The fees attached to ticket fines have soared to an average of $500 per ticket. The LA Times reported the cost of running a red light was $489 in 2012, while running a stop sign can cost as much as $237.

California Judicial Council Takes Emergency Action to End Pay to Play Justice System

Judicial policymakers were urged to take emergency action to ensure that all California courts respect due process and do not force people to “pay to play” to be heard in court. The emergency action created a rule of court to make access to the judicial system available to people with traffic fines.2 Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye stated during an April Judicial Council business meeting that the impact of high fees for traffic offenses is a fiscal issue as well as an access to justice issue that must be addressed.3

Continue reading →

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The Supreme Court of the United States recently heard a California case regarding the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures in regards to a traffic stop. The resulting decision may have a long-lasting, adverse effect on drivers upon the country’s highways.

The highest court ruled that, on the basis of a “reliable” anonymous tip, police may reasonably suspect that you are doing something illegal and pull you over.

Navarette v. California (U.S. Supreme Court Decision, April 22, 2014)

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California Vehicle Code Section 22108 (not signaling for the last 100 feet) is not violated unless signaling is required per CVC section 22107. CVC section 22107 specifically requires that: “(n)o person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.”
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In, People v. Carmona (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1385, the Court held that CVC sections 22107 and 22108 have to be read in conjunction with one another. Therefore, what section 22108 actually means is that if it is required that a signal be given per 22107 (i.e., when another vehicle is, or may be, affected by a turn or other right or left movement), then the signal must be for at least 100 feet before the turning movement is made. Keep in mind that there is no need to show that another car was actually affected.

In order to make sure that your rights are accurately and aggressively defended after being charged with a crime in Orange County, you may want to contact the experienced Orange County criminal defense law firm of Wallin & Klarich. Our attorneys have been helping those accused of crimes, such as DUI, for more than 30 years. Wallin & Klarich has the legal resources and knowledge to assist you in obtaining a successful outcome at your DMV hearing and in your DUI case. Call Wallin & Klarich today at 888-280-6839 or visit our website www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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Thousands of traffic tickets are handed out in Southern California every year, and many of us who receive them feel they are innocent of all charges! You should consult with a traffic ticket attorney.

Traffic%20Ticket%20Lawyers%20888-280-6839.jpgThat begs the question-is it worth your time to set a trial in your traffic case and allow a judge to decide if the ticket was justified? First, in most jurisdictions you must post the full bail amount with the court before a trial date is set. If you do set your ticket for a trial, the officer who handed out your ticket will be subpoenaed to court. If the officer fails to show on the trial date, your ticket will be dismissed and the bail amount will be refunded to you, generally within six weeks. California Highway Patrol Officers are duty bound to show for traffic trial and are only excused by their department in cases of family emergency. So if you were cited by a CHP officer, count on them appearing for your trial.

What are your odds of winning in court?

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As we all know, the cost for pleading guilty to a traffic citation has gone through the roof over the last few years.

A $20.00 seat belt citation will cost you $160 A $100 going through a red light citation has soared to $480.

It is very likely that the cost for these citations will soon be going up again as California tries to figure out how to cut its massive budget deficits.

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Living in Southern California, we are all aware of the distracted driving laws. Essentially it is illegal to text or talk on a cell phone while driving without the use of a hands free device.

Whether or not distracted driving laws have actually cut down on the number of people texting away while cruising down the freeway is a subject for debate, but it given police another reason to pull over drivers and investigate bigger crimes.

Bobby Brown’s criminal defense attorney made a few extra dollars this past week when the singer was pulled over for talking on his cell phone while driving and ultimately was arrested for a DUI. As common as distracted driving laws are across the country, more and more municipalities are beginning to pass “distracted walking” laws. Yes, they are trying to make it illegal to text while walking.

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In a previous blog, we told you not to take the easy way out and just pay your Speeding Ticket up front. We told you to always set the case for a traffic trial and the reasons for doing so. Now we will continue to explain, what arguments a skilled traffic attorney might be able to make on your behalf in order to save your driving record:

1. The attorney might be able to convince the court to reduce the charge down to coasting under California Vehicle Code Section 21710 (CVC § 21710). This will save your record from any points, which is huge for Commercial Drivers.

2. Also, the attorney might be able to argue for the dismissal for lack of response to various requests for discovery. Here, the attorney would send requests for certain items such as radar maintenance/calibration logs, etc. If these requests were not adhered to, this non-compliance could be used in your favor.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.