California Traffic Tickets
If you were pulled over and received a California traffic ticket, you came to the right place. While getting a moving violation is never a good thing, there are ways to deal with California traffic tickets as painlessly as possible — and even keep moving violation points off your driving record. At Ticket Ninja, we can help you to get your California traffic tickets dismissed through a convenient process called Trial by Declaration.
When you get pulled over in California
When you are pulled over for a California traffic ticket, the officer will ask to see your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. If you cannot present these 3 items, you could already be in trouble, in addition to the violation the officer pulled you over for. All three of these are ticketable violations, so make sure to have these documents with you when you operate a motor vehicle.
2 types of California traffic tickets:
- Infraction: This covers all the basic California traffic violations, from speeding to running a red light.
- Misdemeanor: This is a more serious driving offense, like driving without a license, driving under the influence, excessive speeding, etc.
When you receive a traffic ticket, the officer will have you sign and date it and you’ll receive a copy for your records. Please make sure to keep the ticket since that piece of paper contains some valuable information, like your court date and citation number. Signing the ticket means you agree to appear in court (in person or by filing a plea) and pay your fine by the court date. Remember, you are not admitting guilt by signing your ticket.
Your court date, as well as court contact information, will be located on your ticket. Do not rely on the traffic court to notify you about anything related to your citation(Courtesy Notice) — the court is not required to do so.
Submitting a Plea for your California traffic ticket
There are 3 possible plea options: guilty, no contest, or not guilty.
If you plead guilty or no contest: Once you receive the Courtesy Notice, you can simply send in a payment for your fine along with the payment coupon to the court. When your fee is received, your case will be considered closed and the citation as well as the point(s) will be added to your driving record at the DMV. You may have the option to take traffic school to avoid getting a moving violation point on your record.
If you plead not guilty: You can choose to fight your ticket by court trial, or through written “trial by declaration” to the court. Trial by declaration is the best way to fight California traffic tickets. In fact, California is one of the few states that allows this convenient process that gives you two chances to beat your ticket.
How much do traffic tickets cost in California?
Most California traffic ticket amounts are in three broad categories:
- $238 for most types of violations, including sign violations, lane violations, speeding violations for going 1 to 15 mph over the speed limit.
- $367 for speeding tickets for going 16 to 25 mph over the speed limit.
- $490 for carpool lane violations, red light tickets, and speeding tickets for going more than 25 mph over the speed limit.
- Speeding over 100 mph, reckless driving, and DUI are in a different fine category.
Can you get a ticket without being pulled over in California?
Yes, you can get a ticket in the mail for red light camera tickets, and for not stopping at a stop sign in certain Parks and Recreation areas.
How do I find my California traffic ticket online?
- If you intend to fight your ticket, NEVER make an online payment at the court website. If you do, you will be pleading guilty automatically!
- The easiest way to locate your ticket is to PRETEND that you want to make a payment on your ticket. DO NOT actually make a payment on your ticket!
- Extension requests are usually available, once you locate your ticket online. You can usually get 1 extension.