So you say you want to spend the day in traffic court, really? Well, here are your choices: you can pay it and plead guilty; you can fight it and plead not guilty, or you can request traffic school if eligible because you haven’t been in the last 18 months. (California).
First of all once you’ve gotten a ticket you can go to the court website and pick a date for your arraignment, that means pleading guilty or not guilty this is not to set a trial. Once you do that then you can set a trial date if you decide to fight the ticket or if you just want to pay it or if you want to pay it and request traffic school. A plead of NOLO is the same as pleading guilty.
If you decide to request the traffic school choice… there is an additional fee over your “fine” for instance in Los Angeles courts $64 to process traffic school papers, then you can choose the traffic school (we hope you will choose us!) If you decide to set a date for trial, it’s always best to set a date as far in the future as they offer you. That gives you the best chance that the police officer might not even show up. If they don’t show up…. They usually dismiss the case. But if they do show up then you have to be prepared to fight your case. The best way to do that is with photographs, diagrams and have a concise idea of how and what you’re going to say. The police officer is the first one to speak, listen carefully to what they say, and the judge will give you an opportunity to question the police officer, then if you have no other questions and you tell your side of the story, and wait for the judges decision. If you lose you still have the right to request traffic school even though a cleric might’ve told you that you shouldn’t requested because once you try a case they know they judge doesn’t get it. You still have the right to ask you if you lose.
If you lose or lose with traffic school will go down to the clerks office and pay and they will give you about two months to complete the course. If you take the course at our great Improv Online a Traffic School… we do all the paperwork for you do not have to return to the court.
If your court required you to pay bail in order to set a trial date will get the money back in 4 to 6 weeks. Many courts are not charging in order to set a trial date check the website of your particular court. There is no extra fee to try a case.
There are only three words which are important if you try a case, credibility, credibility and oh… did I mention, credibility?
Do not under any circumstance impunity integrity of the police officer or call him a liar! That’s the easiest way to lose your case on the spot.
When the judge gives you a chance to question the officer… this is a good opportunity to raise doubts. Where was the officer’s position, did they have a clear view of what you did. Is there anyway they could’ve made a mistake. Always be courteous, always be professional, and dress respectfully. You don’t have to overdress in an Armani suit, that’s too much, just show the court respect. No jeans no shorts no flip-flops.
If the judge gives you traffic school then the point that you have accrued towards negligent operator points will be hidden from the insurance company and you win, even if you lose.
Preparation and credibility are everything. Good luck!