The most common types of traffic violations in California are classified as infractions and moving violations. In such cases, all that is needed to convict a person is proof that they committed the act, regardless of the driver’s intent. Some examples of these infractions include failure to obey traffic direction signs, not using turn signals, failure to stop at a red lights, and the most common violation in all of California, speeding.
Many of these citations do not require a court appearance and you can pay the ticket directly. Your ticket will outline how you may pay the ticket, which can usually be done through the mail, in person, or online. However, when you pay the ticket directly, you are essentially pleading guilty to the traffic offense and this carries the same consequences as being found guilty in a court of law. Drivers should be aware of what some of the possible consequences are. For example, many traffic offenses are automatically reported to California Driver Safety Offices and such offenses are regularly reported to other states. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a point system to hand out penalties corresponding to each traffic violation. When enough points are added to your driving record, your license can be suspended. Added points to your driving record also commonly leads to higher car insurance premiums. Points on your driving record can add up quickly and it is possible to even receive jail time for some infractions.
If you would like to dispute a traffic violation, you must personally appear in court in order to enter a “not guilty” plea. If a deal cannot be reached with a prosecuting attorney, a trial date will be set. A trial gives you an opportunity to fight the traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury. This can be a scary process for many and most people prefer to hire an attorney to defend them in court.
Even if you think you are just dealing with a minor traffic ticket, you might still be facing tough and unnecessary legal penalties. If you want to challenge a ticket, trying to negotiate and argue your case by yourself can be very unpleasant and burdensome. Seek out an experienced traffic attorney who can answer your questions and help you keep your driving record clean.