Category Archives: Misdemeanors

Everything You Need to Know About Renewing Your California Drivers’ License

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is notorious for long lines and slow service. In recent years, the state has taken steps to speed up and improve the processes for obtaining a drivers’ license, registering a vehicle, and other DMV-related tasks.

Renewing your California drivers’ license is getting easier, and in many cases can now be done online.

Online Renewal

Although first-time California drivers’ license holders will need to have an in-person appointment at a DMV office, renewals can usually be done online. The state’s new DMV website has a list of eligibility requirements for online renewal.

If you meet the requirements, you will be prompted to create an online account to continue your renewal. You should be prepared to pay your renewal fee as listed on your renewal notice. Follow the on-screen prompts to renew your California drivers’ license.

In-Person Appointments

If you are a first-time drivers’ license holder or you are new to the state of California, you will probably need to visit the DMV. You could go to your closest location without an appointment and wait in line all day, but a better option is to make an appointment online.

For drivers coming from other states, no driving test will be required. You will only need to provide your old license and proof of residency.

Driving With an Expired License

Driving with an expired license is chargeable as a misdemeanor offense in California. The good news is that it’s not nearly as serious of an offense as driving with a suspended, revoked or cancelled license.

When you are caught driving with an expired license, prosecutors will often reduce the charge from a misdemeanor to a simple infraction. This is provided you renew your license in a timely manner.

New to California?

For those who move to California from another state where they still have an active drivers’ license, the same offense could be charged. Driving with a license from a previous state, even if it’s still valid, is considered the same as driving with an expired license in California.

Legally, the state of California requires newcomers to obtain a California drivers’ license within 10 days of becoming a resident. But most of the time, when you are caught with an expired or out-of-state drivers’ license, you are offered some leeway if you obtain a new, valid license within 20 days of the infraction.

Got a Ticket for an Expired License? Call Mr. Ticket!

If you’ve been issued a traffic violation because you delayed renewing your California drivers’ license, your best option is to seek legal representation. Mr. Ticket has ample experience reducing charges in traffic violations and he can help reduce your misdemeanor to an infraction or even get the charge removed altogether. Call Mr. Ticket today!

I Got A Speeding Ticket While Visiting California – Do I Have To Pay It?

I Got A Speeding Ticket While Visiting California – Do I Have To Pay It?

While in years past it was sometimes common to rip up an out-of-state speeding ticket, this practice is no longer acceptable. Individual states now share large amounts of information, including information about traffic tickets. Letting a speeding ticket go unpaid can have serious effects on your driving record, even if that ticket wasn’t issued in your home state.

Millions of visitors flock to California every year for the sunshine, beaches and palm trees as well as the skiing, national parks and many other sights the great state of California has to offer. These visitors are at just as much of a risk of getting a speeding ticket as the locals themselves. If you’ve gotten a ticket while visiting California, you have options!

Pay the Ticket

Your first option is simply to pay the out-of-state ticket and be done with it. This option is certainly the fastest, but it’s not ideal. A traffic fine is never as simple as it seems. Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt and can come with other consequences in both your home state and California. California applies points to your drivers license for speeding tickets (and your home state might, too, making it extra painful), and these points remain even after the ticket has been paid. There’s only a matter of time until your insurance company is notified and your rates go up. Lucky for you, there’s a better option than simply paying your speeding ticket.

Hire Professional Representation

The better way to handle an out-of-state speeding ticket is to fight it. Fighting a ticket often requires you to attend court in person in California, which can be difficult and expensive if you live in another state. Instead, hire an attorney to represent you. They will negotiate the ticket to have it thrown out, or at the very least reduced to a no-point violation where you simply pay the fine and then the ticket is gone.

Mr. Ticket Will Handle Your Out-Of-State Speeding Ticket

As you can see, if you get a speeding ticket in California your best option is to seek legal representation. Mr. Ticket is the man for the job! He and his team will handle everything from start to finish, saving you from wasting your valuable time in court. Call us today for and let us fight your speeding ticket for you!

DUI vs DWI – What’s the Difference?

DUI vs. DWI – What’s the Difference?

You’ve likely heard both the terms “DUI” and “DWI” when it comes to drunk driving arrests, but what is the difference between the two?

  • DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence
  • DWI means Driving While Intoxicated
  • Both refer to driving while impaired by some substance, whether alcohol or drugs.

In some states, the terms DUI and DWI refer to two different infractions. A DUI indicates that a person has alcohol in their system. This infraction is easier to prove since a simple breathalyzer test can show the presence of alcohol. A DWI, however, is a little more complicated to prove since it requires significant evidence that the driver is absolutely impaired. Of the two, DWI’s tend to have more severe consequences and be a more serious charge.

Recently, most states have stopped separating DUI and DWI infractions. In these states, including California, the two terms are used interchangeably. The state of California exclusively uses DUI, though you may still see DWI used in some cases since it’s such a familiar term. Whether convicted of a DUI due to drugs or alcohol, in California the charges and penalties are the same.

DUI in California

A first time DUI offense in California is classified as a misdemeanor and the penalty typically involves 3-5 years of probation as well as hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, an ignition interlock device is installed in the vehicle of the offender, requiring the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before operating the vehicle. Other penalties of a DUI conviction include required DUI school, a 6-month driver’s license suspension, and even up to six months in jail.

In the cases where a DUI is not the first offense, the consequences are far more severe. Longer jail time and more expensive fines are just the start. The requirements for DUI school are extended, and driver’s license suspensions may last longer.

Mr. Ticket Can Help With Your Drunk Driving Arrest

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in California, it’s important to seek legal representation right away. Mr. Ticket is practiced in representing clients in traffic violations and will protect your rights while helping to minimize consequences. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a licensed attorney.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Traffic Violations

Not all traffic violations are created equal, and the type of violation you face can have different consequences for your record, insurance, and drivers license. Today we’ll explain the differences and help you understand your options for each. 

Misdemeanor Traffic Violations

The usual and more common traffic violations are called “infractions” and would include speeding, improper stop at a stop sign, failure to signal, and even minor collisions. These are not classified as misdemeanor offenses, and as such are usually more minor in consequence (points on your license, fines). The following will often bump your violation into the class of misdemeanor: 

  • Someone is injured by the traffic violation
  • Property is damaged by the traffic violation, such as another’s car or mailbox
  • Driving without a license or insurance
  • Reckless driving
  • Disorderly conduct 

Misdemeanor traffic violations will go on your criminal record and can include court and legal fees. 

Felony Traffic Violations

If you’re guilty of committing a more serious traffic offense, you may be charged with a felony traffic violation. While these charges can depend on the severity of the incident and the local traffic laws, a felony traffic violation is usually associated with a DUI but can also include: 

  • Hit-and-run
  • Vehicular homicide or manslaughter
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
  • Racing
  • Fleeing law enforcement
  • Repeated offenses of driving without license or insurance

Felony traffic violations incur much more serious consequences, such as permanent felony marking on your record, a breathalyzer for DUIs, suspension or revocation of a drivers license, criminal court proceedings, and legal fees. 

If you’re facing a traffic violation, whether misdemeanor or felony charges, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation to protect your rights and minimize any consequences. We’re practiced and ready to help you.

What is financial responsibility in California?

If you are like most California drivers, you know that you are required to carry automobile insurance if you drive on public roads. However, the law is actually more broad than what many people may know or realize. As explained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the state recognizes what it called financial responsibility.

Financial responsibility essentially states that anyone who drives or even parks a vehicle on public property in California must be able to prove their ability to financially compensate others in the event that they are at fault for an accident. For most people, this financial responsibility requirement is met by carrying the appropriate level of liability insurance. However, there are other ways of fulfilling this requirement.

A driver may elect instead to purchase a surety bond or make a cash deposit with the DMV. A bond or deposit must be for $35,000. It is also possible to obtain a certificate of self-insurance from the Department of Motor Vehicles. If a person does not properly satisfy the financial responsibility requirement, a vehicle’s registration may be suspended. This may even happen if proper documentation is not provided within a 30-day window of registering a new vehicle or transferring the registration of a used vehicle that was recently puchased.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to provide California residents an overview of what the state requires regarding automobile insurance or other means of financially compensation others in the event that an accident occurs.