How to fight a traffic ticket in California

Getting pulled over in California is never a pleasant experience. You will most likely drive away from the traffic stop with some sort of ticket. It might not be what you were initially pulled over for, but it’s still a ticket. Traffic tickets in California can be expensive. They can also put points on your driving record depending on the violation. Here’s how to fight a traffic ticket in Encino.

The first thing you need to do when contesting a traffic ticket is appear in the county court where the ticket was issued. This is important. Do not go to the county court where you reside unless this is the county where the ticket was issued. This appearance is known as the preliminary hearing. During the hearing, you will enter a plea.

It’s possible to request a trial through the mail. If you choose this option, you will need to send in the request one week prior to your court date appearance. You will be required to pay a set bail amount the day of your hearing. You will then be assigned a date to appear again in court.

At the next court appearance, you can tell your side of the story. This is when you fight the ticket. If the ticket is dropped, it will be removed from your record and the bail you paid during the preliminary hearing will be refunded. If the ticket is not dropped, you will be assigned a fine that you have to pay.

Have you been issued a traffic ticket in Encino, California? If so, be sure to follow the tips outlined in today’s post to fight the ticket. It can prevent you from paying hundreds of dollars in fines, getting points on your license and seeing your insurance premiums increase.

Source: I Drive Safely, “How to Fight a Speeding Ticket,” accessed April 20, 2018

Are ticket quotas real or just an urban myth?

One of the oldest urban myths involves whether police work harder at or near the end of the month to issue traffic tickets so that they may meet monthly quotas. Part of the reason why the “myth” remains in force is because there are rarely verifiable actions to support the truth behind law enforcement.

But ever so often, there are stories about officers forced into complying with ticket quotas. For instance, a LAPD officer was awarded $1 million in 2016 after he was dismissed from the force for reportedly refusing to take part in a quota scheme. Also, a 2017 study on traffic tickets in New York City suggested that quotas were being enforced.

Basically, researchers found that at the beginning of a given month, fewer than 2,500 tickets are issued each day. That number increases to more than 3,000 near the 16th day of the month, and surges again by the 30th.

While these instances may be dismissed as anecdotal evidence, the fact remains that quota based enforcement of traffic laws is illegal. Also most law enforcement agencies say (at least publicly) that they will take disciplinary action against any supervisor who uses them. But when a motorist is ticketed for what appears to be an innocuous violation, what is a driver to do?

Indeed, challenging the violation is the standard response. But should this be done alone? After all, the old adage “the person who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer” has some truth to it. Essentially, an attorney well-versed in criminal procedure may be able to spot issues that could form a legitimate defense in court. One of the most common stems from the legal authority the police must have in order to initiate a stop.

This means that a law enforcement officer must have a reasonable articulable suspicion that you have violated a traffic law. This cannot simply be a “hunch” or “officer’s intuition.” Instead, such a suspicion must be based on personal knowledge of a violation. This represents one of a number of defenses that can be raised to defend against a traffic ticket. If you have additional questions about defending tickets, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you.

Possible defenses to distracted driving charges

Distracted driving is without a doubt very dangerous. Many drivers have trouble staying focused when behind the wheel. Other drivers don’t have any trouble focusing on the road in front of them. If you are facing distracted driving charges in Encino, California, then you should look at the various possible defenses.

One of the most common defenses, which is quite easy to prove, is that you used a mobile phone while driving due to an emergency. Obviously, a call placed to 911 for fire department services or for the police could very well get you out of a distracted driving charge.

The only caveat here is that you had better be telling the truth. A simple search of your phone log will reveal if you actually called 911 or any other emergency service number.

Should you wind up in police custody following a traffic stop that involved distracted driving, a good defense to the charge could be any potential Miranda rights violations. If the officer failed to read you your Miranda rights, or interrogated you without an attorney present, you could be in a good position to have the charges dropped.

A difficult defense to prove to get out of a distracted driving charge could be that something else caused the accident. For example, maybe it was the weather. Maybe something failed in your car while driving. There could have been inadequate signage in the area or the actions of the other driver could have thrown you off course.

Facing a charge of distracted driving in California is serious. You could face fines, points on your license and even license suspension if there are too many violations on your record. Make sure you know the defenses you could raise so you know how to handle such a charge.