It was just another sunny day in beautiful California, and then it all went wrong. The police officer pulls you over, and when all is said and done, you're driving away with a ticket. Even though it's still sunny outside, there's now a cloud over your head because you've now got a fine and a court date. Well, maybe your day will be brightened by the fact that you can take a defensive driving course to have your penalties significantly reduced.
Though you may only be worried about the money aspect of the ticket, there are also points added to your driving record. Too many points can not only put you at risk for a suspended license, but it can also raise your car insurance rates. Sometimes, if you have a strong case, the best option may be to fight the ticket in court. However, if you know you're guilty and don't have a strong case, traffic school is going to be your best option for getting penalties reduced. Most people are eligible, so let's find out if this is the option for you.
Court Case Possibilities
If you do go to court to oppose the ticket, the problem may be taken care of in a few various ways:
- You could win the case and have the ticket dropped. This would eliminate the fine and points given to you.
- In some cases, the ticket may be dropped due to a technicality. This may also result in your ticket's fine and points being dropped.
- Of course, there's a chance you may lose your case.After losing the case, the judge decides your eligibility in traffic school.
Benefits of a Defensive Driving Course
In any case, fighting your ticket or not, traffic school will likely be able to help you out. It's certainly a better option than paying the ticket without looking into it.
- Upon completion of a traffic school course in California, you will have one point taken off your driving record. It's important to note that points show on your record for a three year span of time.
- Exceeding the threshold for points for the 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year maximums will put you at risk for a license suspension.
- If you're one who already has points on your record, it would be a good idea to take a defensive driving course to avoid increased insurance rates.
- If you want your insurance rates to stay where they are, you should have a focus on keeping points off of your driving record.
Your Traffic School Rights
Understanding what may actually happen in court puts you in a better situation to proceed in a way that benefits you the most. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The officer who gave you the ticket has a responsibility to be in court for the case to proceed.
- If the officer doesn't show up, the entire case, including tickets and points, will be dropped.
- You may ask the bailiff if the officer is present. If you do see that the police officer is there, you can change your plea with the judge before the hearing starts.
- Switching your plea to no contest ensures you obtain the right to enroll in a defensive driving course because utilizing this plea ensures the judge cannot take away your traffic school eligibility.
Well, hopefully that relieves a little bit of your ticket-induced stress. You have plenty of options for attending court and still retaining your ability to enroll in a traffic school / defensive driving course. Now, use this to your advantage to cut down on the penalties of your ticket!