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Trial by Written Declaration - CA

Discussion in 'Donut Shop' started by jrandy, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. jrandy

    jrandy Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Hey All,

    Last month I got hit with a speeding ticket in California (where I'm located). I was planning on contesting via trial by declaration. However, I was on vacation when I got pulled over and am about 5 hours from the court.

    If I lose the trial by declaration, I know that I'm still able to go to court and request traffic school. Due to the distance, if I lose the trial by declaration, will I still be offered traffic school without having to specifically request it in person to a judge?
     
  2. DHG1078

    DHG1078 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Established Member

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    It's probably better to just pay a traffic lawyer who will get it reduced to just a fine with no points.
     
  3. Zinc03Cobra

    Zinc03Cobra Super Trooper Established Member

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    The short answer: Depends.

    I've worked a couple different counties in California and have attended court on many occasions where the judge upheld my half of any written declaration. Meaning, even if the judge decides to tell you "you lost" via written declaration, yes, you are still entitled to have a court date and request traffic school.

    Traffic school is tricky. It is granted at the discretion of the traffic judge and not always guaranteed based on the circumstances of the stop (at least from my experience). I've mostly seen traffic school granted under these circumstances: 1) a no contest/guilty plea and 2) no breaks on the original fine amount. Times I didn't see traffic school granted: 1) you pled not guilty, played your cards in court, and were found guilty and 2) You requested a significant fine reduction. My suggestion is to call the County clerks office and get some clarification. Each County is a bit different.

    Bottom line, traffic school is a good thing even though it cost additional money via admin fee of the County, plus the actual cost to attend it. Just remember you can only attend it every 18 months!
     
  4. jrandy

    jrandy Well-Known Member Established Member

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    Awesome response; just what I was looking for. I'll give the county a call and speak to them directly!
     

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