How To Pay A Traffic Ticket in California
The fine paid to pay off a traffic ticket might not add up to a dear price, but the total cost can be difficult to pay if a California driver doe snot take the opportunity the traffic court give them to pay off the ticket. An amount due must get marked off the court record, once and for all.
Do not let the court go empty handed. Only drivers that win a challenge to the ticket, and pay any court fees, can keep their money.
1. Take the ticket an officer gives out and read it.
There is a message on the ticket that tells a driver the facts on their infraction--speeding, a cell phone violation, an expired registration, or a broken tail light. In San Diego, a traffic ticket says the date to appear in court or pay. And options for paying.
2. Decide if the ticket is unfair and deserves a challenge. A driver that gets caught for an infraction in San Francisco can ask for a trial, or send in a written declaration, to challenge.
3. Read the courtesy notice. The notice is supposed to come at least 2 weeks before the appearance date on the ticket in San Diego. But, remember, there is no dealing on a traffic violation. Receiving a notice is a courtesy and the local government does not have to send a driver one. Anyone that does not get one still has to handle the ticket, and pay.
Most questions a person charged with an infraction has are answered on the notice. How much is the bail charge? The payment due date. Can traffic school be taken? How to handle a fix-it ticket by sending in a proof of correction signed off by the right official. And, of course, the court to appear in and the date.
Before the date makes a judgment find out all the facts a driver needs to know. No courtesy notice? As the court for one or show up and ask questions. Call. Or mail a letter.
4. Attend traffic court, if officially asked by the court or the ticket matter can get settled with a judge. The court can take away the fine after a the infraction is cleared. Guilty violators will get told the fine amount by the judge, and a date to pay. Look for the court to send a payment notice.
Instructions on how to pay are typical.
5. Pay the fine, plus any additional fees. A California driver that pays before their court date can avoid having to go to court to have their road conduct judged by a judge.
San Diegans do not have any troubles finding a way to pay. The local superior court that runs the traffic court gives them options that can fit their situation--online using a ticket number and date of birth, an automated telephone system, check or money order by mail, credit card payment by faxed form, and drop boxes. Any driver can simply show up at the court and hand over the money.
6. Ask the court if any added charges are owed. Not following the court's procedure for handling the ticket on time can result in additional charges.
Those charges include:
a. dismissal of violation
b. failure to pay fine
c. failure to appear
d. failure to comply with court order
e. night court
f. sheriff warrant
g. prior conviction
h. a court security fee
i. set up a payment schedule
j. extension of fine payment due date
Failure to pay the ticket can give the court a justification for acting less lenient. A civil charge the court sets can add hundreds to the total cost of the infraction.
California Government, Paying a California Traffic Ticket, at http://www.ca.gov/Driving/LawsSafety/TrafficFines.html on July 30, 2012.