Traffic School & Ticket
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Traffic Ticket Questions (FAQ)
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Procedures After Getting a Ticket

Why did I receive a courtesy notice after my traffic ticket and what do I do with it?
It is interesting to note that a courtesy notice is sent to you by the court. It is the court’s goal to decrease the case load it is facing, and thus the notice offers you to ability to go ahead and pay your fine by mailing in the payment. Unfortunately, this approach may help the court to decrease its case load but it does very little to look out for your best interest. If you study your courtesy notice in detail, you will find out that it appears as though the only way to dispute your citation is to lose two days of work – on the first you will go to court and plead not guilty, and on the second day you will actually stand trial.

Fortunately, there is a third alternative. In according with Section 40519(b) of the Vehicle Code, as a defendant you have the right to plead not guilty by mail, thus shaving off one day from the time you will need to take off work. Furthermore, you are entitled to not only plead not guilty but to also request that the court will permit you to stand trial by Written Declaration, which simply means that any and all things that you would tell the judge in person you may now state in writing. Thus, when receiving a courtesy notice, you have nothing to lose if you decide to not pay the ticket and instead contest the charge; doing so in a timely manner will ensure that you will not receive any late fees or other fines. Please note that there are no official forms you will have to file, and thus a bit of research on the ‘Net will give you some ideas of what other recipients of such notices wrote to the courts.

Is it okay if I just ignore the courtesy notice I received in the mail?
The short answer is “no.” If you decide to ignore the courtesy notice, you will leave yourself liable for having an arrest warrant issued in your name; furthermore, you driver’s license may be suspended and you may have to pay $250 as a fine for failure to respond, and another $500 fine for failure to pay your ticket. While it is rare that the court will indeed invoke all of these consequences on the recipient of a courtesy notice, it is important to understand that it has the right to do so at its discretion.
Read faq's on general traffic violations.
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