Most traffic and driving citations can have serious consequences. In many cases, traffic and driving offenses can carry penalties that include the loss of your license, fines, driving points, and potential midsemeanor consequences for those unlucky enough to get too many offenses on their record. Additionally, if you are found guilty of these offenses, there can be loss of employment and increase in insurance premiums.
Traffic School should be a last resort in any traffic violation. Under California Law, Traffic School can only be attended for violations every 18 months. Using traffic school can leave your license vulnerable in the event that you have an accident or another violation.
The first goal of traffic defense is to try to obtain a dismissal. This is generally obtainable only upon setting the matter for trial. In every court, there will be a certain percentage of cases that are dismissed at trial based upon the failure of the officer to appear.
Pleading guilty or taking traffic school deprives the driver of the opportunity to obtain a dismissal. In many courts, even if the officer appears, there are still opportunities to obtain a dismissal, resolve the case without points, or for a lesser charge.
Some traffic service firms, claim good results for a Trial by Declaration. This strategy does not work well in a number of instances. Upon conviction in a Trial by Declaration, the conviction is immediately reported to the DMV. Even if there is a subsequent acquittal at an actual trial, the conviction stays on the record in most cases until the final resolution of the matter. This can trigger consequences for the driver. Also, many officers are more reluctant to allow for alternative dispositions after there has been a Trial by Declaration.
If you are issued a citation, it is not recommended that you handle this matter on your own. An attorney can negotiate significant reductions in fines and penalties, as well as the possibility of dismissal of all charges.
Our practice has successfully settled over 2,500 cases of Traffic violations for our clients.