California Traffic Ticket
I just got pulled over, what should I do?
When you are stopped by an officer for a possible vehicle code violation, BE COURTEOUS and keep both hands on the steering wheel where the officer can clearly see them. NEVER ARGUE with the officer. You will regret it if you decide to go to trial. The officer will make notes and will use that evidence against you in trial. The best thing to do is be polite and courteous. After all you want the officer to forget the facts of your case.
What is a citation or ticket?
A traffic ticket or is citation is a summons to a person who is charged with a possible violation while operating a motor vehicle. You may be required to show up in court on or before a determined date set by the law enforcement officer.
Why do I have to sign the ticket?
Signing the ticket does not mean you are guilty of that violation. By signing the ticket, you are promising to apear in court on or before the determined date on the ticket. If you do not sign the ticket you can be arrested and taken into custody.
What happens next?
You may or may not receive a notice from court to pay the fine, appear in court in front of a judge. Check with the county if you did not receive a notice. If you decide to fight your ticket, you have to post bail and show up for the court trial and enter a plea in front of a judge.
Can I go to traffic school?
In the state of California, you are eligable to attend traffic school once every 18 months for a vehicle violation with one point.
Setting Aside DMV Points
Are insurance rates affecting your insurance rates, your right to drive, or employment? If your guilty plea was unconstitutional, your DMV point can be set aside and you can go to trial in the forfiture procedure be defective.
What is a Constitutional Error?
All guilty pleas must be on record and must be made IN OPEN COURT. The judge or bench officer must have advised the in pro per (appearing without an attorney) defendant of his or her rights. The COURT RECORD must show that the defendant understood those rights and voluntarily waived those rights before a plea is accepted by the court.
If you pled guilty at the court window, by mail, telephone, or the internet. If there are no court record that you were advised of your constitutional rights, or waived them before you plead guilty or no contest. After filing a motion your guilty plea can be set aside.
What Happens Then?
As soon as the court hears your motion to set the point aside and sees the case law that was part of your motion, the point must be set aside as soon as the clerk updates the information in the court database to not guilty. The court will then ask if you want to set the matter for trial or take traffic school.
What is a motion?
A motion to set aside a guilty plea is one sheet of paper that basically says that you are filing this motion to set aside your prior guilty plea because you were not advised of your constitutional rights, you did not understand them and did not waive or give them up before a guilty plea. There is a simple format you can find in any law library or take a look at the nolo.com site for the basic format.
What if its an old conviction?
It does not matter when your plea of guilty was entered against you if the plea was unconstitutional or the forfiture statues not complied with. There are no statue of limitations on a set aside motion.