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I Got A Ticket! Now What?

After getting a ticket for a driving infraction it is not always necessary for you to go to court unless you plan on contesting the ticket. One can decide to pay the fine at the court or for many courts an online payment system is available. Once you pay your fines you can go to traffic school. If you are considering contesting the ticket, most tickets contested do not win unless you have undeniable evidence that the officer was wrong. Officers can be wrong based on their own perceptions of the incident.



When going to court remember to take as many additional items out of your pockets or purse as you will be required to go through a metal detector in most courts in California. Once you are in the building you will need to go the traffic division window for the court room and appearance instructions. Have all of your documents in order and remain silent, with your phone off, in court room as you wait to be heard. Remember you are in the court room with the judge who will make the deciding factors. In most instances he is going to suggest you take traffic school, which could be a good decision as when you contest you will have to come back again to the court room to most likely loose the case. If you consider how much time you will be spending back and fourth to court, and the time preparing, is it worth the money you will loose working or something else?


You have the right to contest any traffic violation. When contesting a ticket you can hire an attorney or contest your ticket in person. Consider having evidence and know the violation. If you hire an attorney you are not required to show up for court. You can win the case if the officer does not show up for the case.


Often people believe they can get out of the ticket by showing up to court and the officer not showing up to defend the violation. Good chance with that one. The officer gets paid to be there. For the officer it is nice day in an air conditioned building waiting to be seen.


Ignoring the ticket (neither paying the fine nor going to court) will likely result in being charged with failure to appear per Vehicle Code 40508. Failure to appear can be charged as a misdemeanor crime. It can also result in a hold on your driver’s license per Vehicle Code 40509.5.

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Student Comments

"I would just like to say that one day traffic school has an amazing program that really makes it easy to accomplish the unfortunate task of having to do traffic school. I was especially grateful that you provided online representatives that were on hand to provide answers in the most courteous and informative way possible. You are all doing a wonderful job, i hope that i will never have to be in a situation where your services will have to be of use, but if i ever am, then i know exactly where to log on to. Thanks again to Shanna and Courtney who answered my questions."
Monica A. - San Joaquin, California

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"This was great!"
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