Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Fight and Still Go To Traffic School?
Yes, you can. Exercising a Constitutional right with strings attached is Un-American.
How Do You Reinstate a Driver’s License?

California driver’s licenses are suspended because of failing to appear on a traffic ticket or because a government official took it from you (eg police officer, judge or DMV officer) under some authority of law. This article discusses suspensions for failing to appear on a ticket.

Written Promise to Appear

Under provisions of a “written promise to appear” the government can suspend your license for promising to appear (in court) and then not keeping that promise. When you are pulled over by an officer and issued a ticket you are required to sign it. Typically the San Diego Officer states something to the effect of “Signing this document does not admit guilt, only that you will handle it.” Oftentimes s/he will even go a little further and tell you how to “just pay it.” You sign it and are on you way.

The Obligations

What you signed was a “written promise to appear”, a contract of sorts – only with criminal penalties. You gave up your right to “immediately be taken in front of a judge” and have instead opted to take care of it later, on your time. The only problem is you must remember to take care of it.

The ticket states the date you are required to “respond by” (defined as plea guilty, pay the fine or plea not guilty and fight it) on the lower half of the ticket.

The Breach

When you don’t take care of it, you’re in “breach” of your obligation and the penalties of a civil assessment, license suspension and, possibly a warrant, spring into action.

The Penalties

The civil assessment you agreed to when you signed the ticket and the suspension and possible warrant are unilaterally executed by the government.

What Can California Ticket King, PC Do?

We are attorneys and can make the appearance. Once an appearance is made, the legal (warrant and suspended license) ramifications are removed. What about registering your car, why can I do that? In a classic asymmetrical application of law from our government, they will take your money for registration fees, but when it comes to the benefit part, they will still suspend your license. I still have my license, can I still drive? You may still have physical possession of your license, but you’ve been sent a letter from the DMV or been told that its suspended.

Where Does The Fine Money Go?

Situation #1 – If the enforcement agency (the issuing officer) is the CHP, then:

  • 25% to the county in which the prosecution is conducted,
  • 25% to the prosecuting agency, and
  • 50% to the air quality management district or air pollution control district in which the infraction occurred.

Situation #2 – If the enforcement agency is not the CHP, then:

  • 15% to the county in which the prosecution is conducted,
  • 10% to the prosecuting agency,
  • 25% to the enforcement agency, and
  • 50% to the air quality management district or air pollution control district in which the infraction occurred.

If no prosecuting agency is involved, the revenues that would otherwise be allocated to the prosecuting agency is allocated to the air quality management district or air pollution control district in which the infraction occurred. What is the air quality or air pollution office supposed to do with the money? They use it for programs that regulate and control vehicle emissions.

Let’s break this down into more concrete terms. If you are pulled over by a CHP officer and slapped with an average $300 fine, this is where it goes:

  • $75 goes to San Diego County,
  • $75 goes to the prosecuting agency, and
  • $150 goes to the district’s air quality management office.

Taking the same $300 fine, only this time a local SDPD officer or Sheriff gives it to you, here is its breakdown:

  • $45 goes to San Diego County,
  • $30 goes to the prosecuting agency,
  • $75 goes to the SDPD, and
  • $150 goes to the district’s air quality management office.

No matter how you slice it, the money doesn’t go back into repairing roads or improving traffic flow. It pads the pockets of the various organizations.

Beyond this statute, nothing dictates how the various organizations must spend this money. It isn’t inconceivable then to understand why so many tickets are being issued. With funding no longer available to local law enforcement, and given the fact that local law enforcement derives significant revenue from traffic citations, they give more citations. In fact, law enforcement is even willing to skirt the laws and give tickets whenever they please.

Ultimately, YOU are taxed.

Can I Afford An Attorney?

Many people feel that hiring a lawyer is very expensive and may not be worth it for a simple traffic ticket.

When it comes to simple traffic infractions such as speeding tickets, red light violations, stop signs, etc. we charge a flat rate. This fee includes one court appearance where we plead you not guilty and set a trial date, request discovery, and a second court appearance for trial. By hiring us to contest your ticket, you are not required to make any court appearances.

Please keep in mind more serious traffic offenses such as DUI’s, reckless driving, driving on suspended driver’s license are considered more serious offenses and the defense costs vary depending on the offense. Please contact us to discuss these more serious offenses.

Many drivers try and contest their driving tickets on their own. This is possible to do but keep in mind the procedure usually involves a two step process. First you must go to court plead not guilty and set a trial date. Then you must come back for the trial date to fight your case. Therefore, you must make two court appearances. Additionally there are certain rules and procedures that you will not be aware of, and these rules and procedures could greatly increase your chances of success.

For a flat rate we will make both court appearances for you. Having to take two days off from work could easily cost you more than the flat rate. Before you decide to hire us to fight your ticket, feel free to call for a free telephone consultation.

 

The information provided by California Ticket King, PC is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to be used as a starting point for further discussion between you and an attorney at California Ticket King, PC.

Do You Handle Misdemeanors?

We handle misdemeanors, too!!  Misdemeanors are a much more serious offense. The potential fines, impact on your record and jail time increase the stakes significantly.

When it comes to a misdemeanor, there’s no better team to handle it than the attorneys at California Ticket King, PC. We are aggressive, skilled and ready to handle the most demanding case.

We handle all misdemeanors, including:

Please contact us to set up an appointment. You can rest assured that the lawyers at California Ticket King, PC will vehemently fight for your rights.

The information provided by California Ticket King, PC is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to be used as a starting point for further discussion between you and an attorney at California Ticket King, PC. 

Cost of Tickets

How much is it just to pay the fine and be done with it? This article explores that question.

The true cost of a ticket comprises two separate components:
1) fine amount; and 2) insurance rate increase.

The Fine

The amount a county can levy on a ticket is controlled by statute and a document titled “Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules” written by the Judicial Council of California. This document is published yearly in January pursuant to California Rules of Court Rule 4.102.

Statutes will state the range a fine encompasses. But this is only fine amount. You must check the “Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules” document to find the real cost to you.

You can go to our downloads section and find the document for January 2009. Find your alleged violation, follow all the way to the right and you will see the total. To complicate matters even more, the large counties (San Diego included) are exempted from following the schedule strictly and can levy approximately 10% more on you.

Insurance Increase

Also included in the “Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules” document are the amount of points that will go in your record if you are convicted of a moving violation. Not all of the tickets you are cited for carry point violations. Point violations are either a 1 or a 2 point addition to your DMV record.

Insurance companies use your DMV record and the amount of point you have to re-rate your insurance premiums. There are no set standards all insurance companies subscribe to when accessing your points and cost of insurance. Through anecdotal evidence and our experience, we feel that at a minimum a person with 1 point newly added on their DMV record, will see insurance premiums increase between $300 and $800 per year. The DMV keeps the points on you record for 3 years. In essence, the cost of a basic 1 point ticket will be $900 to $2400 over the three years.

The Bottom Line

A ticket in California is not something to be taken lightly. Our suggestion is that you fight every ticket you receive. If you fight and win, your ticket will be dismissed, you will not have to pay the fine and you won’t see an insurance increase.

California’s Hands Free Law

(Effective July 1, 2008)

If you’ve been cited under the California hands Free law (California Vehicle Code 23123, 21323.5, 23124, 23125) you were probably surprised that you were given a ticket for something that you’ve seen others do countless times that day. With the 2 year old law in full swing, police officers are citing more people than ever which means that traffic courts are experiencing extremely high volumes of these violations translating into extended wait times for those who have to appear to settle their tickets. At SD Ticket King, our attorneys can help you through the process of appearing for the violation and advocate your position if your ticket was issued in light of an exception. Here is a breakdown of the sections that a driver can be cited for if they were using a wireless device while driving.

Under California Vehicle Code 23123, all persons above the age of 18 are prohibited from using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving. The base fine for a first offense is $20 and $50 for each subsequent offense, but additional penalty assessments and fines could more than triple that amount.

Under CVC 23123.5, the text messaging section of the hands free law, a person over 18 is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication. This includes communications sent by text message, instant message, or electronic mail. However, if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name on wireless device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call, this will not be a basis for violation of this section. The fine schedule is the same for that of CVC 23123.

Under CVC 23124, all persons under the age of 18 are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device, or while using a mobile service device. A “mobile service device” is defined as, including but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, specialized mobile radio device, handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, pager, and two way messaging device. Essentially, any device that allows you to communicate to another person in any form while driving is strictly prohibited for those under 18. However, an officer cannot stop a vehicle to determine if that person is under 18 and using a wireless device, but can only be stopped for violating CVC 23123. Basically, if you are using a wireless device without a hands-free feature, you run the risk of being stopped. The fine schedule is the same for that of CVC 23123.

And finally for those entrusted in driving a vehicle used for public transportation, including school buses, under California Vehicle Code 23125, drivers of these public transportation vehicles are prohibited from driving while using a wireless telephone. However, a driver under this section may use their phone for work-related purposes. Exceptions

The biggest exception among all of these sections if making a call related to an emergency. These would be calls to police and fire department, an emergency room, or other emergency service agency or entity. This list is not exhaustive and many emergency related situations could potentially fall into this category.

Also, drivers of tractor trailers or motor trucks over the age of 18 are permitted to use a digital two way radio that utilizes a wireless telephone that operated by pressing a push to talk feature and does not require immediate proximity to the ear of the user.

Emergency service professionals using wireless telephones while operating an authorized motor vehicle are also granted an exception.

Finally, if you’re driving on private property, you’re granted an exception from CVC 23123.

The information provided by California Ticket King is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to be used as a starting point for further discussion between you and an attorney at California Ticket King. 

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Our California Traffic Attorneys

Scott Hullinger, Esq.

Scott Hullinger, Esq.

San Diego Traffic Attorney

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Rowland Dinkins, Esq.

Rowland Dinkins, Esq.

Riverside & San Bernardino Traffic Attorney

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Clay Renick, Esq.

Clay Renick, Esq.

Orange County Traffic Attorney

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Manny "Lee Buck" Rios, Esq.

Manny "Lee Buck" Rios, Esq.

Imperial, Inyo, Kern & Mono Traffic Attorney

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Tomas Flores, Esq.

Tomas Flores, Esq.

Alameda Traffic Attorney

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Sherrett Walker, Esq.

Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo & Santa Clara Traffic Attorney

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Attorney Advantage

Hiring an attorney to defend your traffic ticket may mean the difference between a conviction and a dismissal. With high fines, DMV points and your license at stake, you need an experienced traffic law firm to handle it. Our traffic attorneys are the best in the business because:

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Knowledgeable

We know the law and procedure that govern traffic law and traffic courts. We use the knowledge we've gained to get an advantage in court. Knowing the right legal maneuvers may mean the difference between a conviction and a dismissal.

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We go to court for you

Under Penal Code 977 we can make all your court appearances without you having to be present. In most cases, you will never have to go to court. We appear on your behalf and represent you to the fullest extent of the law.

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Cost effective

Hiring an attorney doesn't have to be expensive. Our fees are reasonable because we have designed our business to be efficient. Many clients actually save money because they have hired our law firm.

Great service. Defended me splendidly and was able to get my ticket dismissed. Highly recommend!

Posted by Lauren van Winkle on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

These Guys are Awesome. ..got my Tix dismissed today.... purely professional every step of the way.....thank You

Posted by Bruv Chadwick on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Got 3 speeding tickets And a seatbelt ticket dropped to just one traffic school these guys are great!

Posted by Matt Murphy III on Wednesday, September 28, 2016