If you do not receive a reminder notice you still must take action by the date on the bottom of your citation. Payments and documents submitted by mail should be sent 10 days before your due date.
THE APPEARANCE DATE AT THE BOTTOM ON YOUR TICKET IS ONLY APPLICABLE IF YOU HAVE BEEN CITED FOR A MISDEMEANOR OR FELONY.
Failure to appear or take action by the due date may result in a DMV hold on your driver's license. This may restrict your ability to renew your driver's license or attend traffic school. The citation may also be referred to collections and a $300.00 civil assessment may be added. A misdemeanor may be charged and your driving privilege suspended.
IF YOU SIGNED THE TICKET, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING CARE OF THE CITATION.
Contact your attorney's office if you are represented by counsel.
- Your reminder notice will say if you are eligible (option 5)
- If cited for speeding, the alleged speed cannot be more than 25 mph over the speed limit
You cannot go to traffic school:
- If the alleged speed is more than 25 mph over the speed limit
- Equipment or non-moving violations are not eligible
- Violations with a mandatory court appearance
- Alcohol related violations
- If you have attended traffic school in the last 18 months.
Related information on traffic school:
- If you have an out of state driver's license and have not completed traffic school in the last 18 months please contact the Court.
- If you are eligible to attend traffic school and choose to do so, you must pay a nonrefundable Traffic School Administration Fee to the court, in addition to your fine. You must also pay a tuition fee to the school when you attend the class.
- Traffic school must be completed by the date given to the defendant by the court.
- To sign up for Traffic School contact the Department of Motor Vehicles at 800-777-0133 or visit https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/olsis-traffic-schools/
If you are unable to pay the full amount of your traffic ticket the following options are available to you:
- Visit https://mycitations.courts.ca.gov/home and use the online tool to request a reduction in your traffic fine.
- Payment Plan- you may request a payment plan by phone, email, mail or in person. If requesting a payment plan by mail please note that you will must request the payment plan in writing and provide a self-addressed stamped envelope with your written request so that the court can mail you the payment plan for your signature. The Court must receive your signed payment plan and the first payment before the due date stated in the letter you will receive. Unreturned payment plans or signed payment plans sent in without payments will subject your case to being referred to collections, a hold being placed on your driver’s license, and a civil assessment of $300 (PC1214.1).
- Ability to Pay Determination- you may request that the Court review your ability to pay your infraction fine by completing Judicial Council Form TR-320- Can’t Afford to Pay Fine: Traffic and Other Infractions. You must provide as much information as possible as outlined on the form. Include financial documents such as; current paycheck stubs, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, copies of EBT or Medi-Cal cards). When filing the TR-320 you must also submit form TR-321- Can’t Afford to Pay Fine: Traffic and Other Infractions (Court Order) so that the Court can inform you of the decision made about your case. If your case has not yet been adjudicated you must also submit the Plea Form.
- Request a Court Date- you can request a court date and ask that the Court address your ability to pay your fine. You will need to be prepared to provide financial documentation at your court date
Contact the agency that issued your ticket. The Court does not process parking tickets.
This option requires a court appearance and is available for all violations. If you fail to appear at the time designated for your trial, either a trial in your absence will occur (Trial in Absentia), or a VC40508(a) misdemeanor charge may be added against you, an additional assessment fee may be added and a hold placed on your driver's license until resolved.
If you plead not guilty you are telling the Court you want to contest the charge(s) against you. A contested trial will be scheduled within 45 days. You may waive your right to a speedy trial and have it scheduled within a reasonable amount of time. Individuals with a good record may be released on their promise to appear. The Court may require bail to be posted to secure appearance at trial, particularly if you have previous failures to appear or pay.
The officer who issued the citation will testify as a witness. If there are other witnesses they may also be called to testify.
You may question (cross-examine) the witnesses. You may testify yourself and call witnesses to testify. After the evidence is presented the judge may rule immediately or the case may be taken under submission. If the case is taken under submission, you will be notified of the ruling by mail or you may choose to return to court.
If you are found not guilty, that is the end of the case. If you are found guilty, the judge will determine how much the fine will be. The fine may be more or less than the bail originally quoted in your case depending on the facts which were presented. If your driving record shows previous convictions, the fine may increase substantially and your driver's license may be suspended for up to 6 months.
Trial by Written Declaration
For more information on Trial by Written Declaration, including the necessary forms click here.
This option is for Vehicle Code infraction violations only and does not require a personal appearance. You to must post bail in lieu of your appearance. The total bail amount as well as the Fee for Traffic School must be posted in full before the process will begin. Failure to post the full bail amount will result in your case not being heard and may subject you to a civil assessment penalty of $300, a hold on your driver’s license, and the referral of your case to a collection agency. Instructions and forms for a Trial by Written Declaration may be obtained on our payment portal, California Judicial website, by mail, or in person at Court Operations.
As a defendant you have the following constitutional and statutory rights:
- To be informed of the charges against you in court.
- To be represented by a lawyer. (for infractions you are not entitled to a court appointed lawyer; you may hire your own lawyer)
- In misdemeanor matters, you may hire your own lawyer or the Court may appoint one for you at no initial cost. The court may order reimbursement of costs according to your ability to pay.
- A speedy and public trial within 45 days of arraignment, or a court trial in infraction cases.
- To confront and cross-examine the witnesses against you.
- To put on a defense and testify in your own behalf and to obtain a document (a subpoena) to compel witnesses to appear without expense to you.
- To remain silent and not to be called as a witness during your own court proceeding.
- To a court or jury trial in misdemeanor cases.
- To appeal the Court's decision. You must file your Notice of Appeal within 30 days and follow court rules. Click here for Appeal Instructions