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The Novice Guide To Fighting A Traffic Violation By Mail In California

Law Blog

You think you are obeying the law until you see flashing blue lights behind you. It is natural to be disgusted with yourself after such an ordeal. You dread the thought of having to appear in court and pay fines.

However, in California, there is a way to fight traffic tickets without going to court by snail mail. This is called Trial by Written Declaration. Most people do not know this exists because they never look on the back of their ticket. California is one of eight states to allow Trial by Written Declaration. Here are some tips to help you fight your traffic ticket by mail.

Points to Consider

You should be aware of some points to consider if you choose to fight your speeding ticket by mail. When you choose this method, you waive all rights to ask officers questions. The judge can easily find you guilty if you do not show in person. Delinquent tickets and misdemeanor violations are not eligible for Trial by Written Declaration. In California, you waive the right to testify in court and you cannot subpoena witnesses.

The Process of Trial By Written Declaration

To start the procedure of Trial by Written Declaration, you must send a defense to the court and pay the full bail amount. This means you have to pay the cost of the ticket. Be certain to send in everything before the trial date on your ticket by mail or in person. You need the form TR205 from the clerk's office at the courthouse listed on the ticket or download it from the Superior Court California website in the county you live.

Give as many details of the case as you can and include why you think it should be dismissed. It can take 30-90 days before a court reviews the request for Trial by Written Declaration. The defendant will be notified of the court's decision in writing. The officer who issued the ticket must submit a statement in writing.

The Verdict

If you win, the court refunds the bail money. Otherwise, most judges will send you to traffic school and decrease fines. California allows you two chances to win if things do no work out. You have the option of trial de novo which means you get a new trial.

A Trial by Written Declaration in California can work well for minor traffic violations. It saves you time and the cost of going to court. If you lose and decide to keep fighting the ticket, consult a traffic violation lawyer from a firm like Armstrong & Barrington PLLC.


9 December 2014