California Traffic School Questions


HOW MUCH TRAFFIC SCHOOL CAN ONE ATTEND?

The California Vehicle Code Section 1808.7 mandates that only one citation in an 18 month period be masked from public view on a driving record. The 18 month period is calculated from the citation/violation date, not the class attendance date.

IF I GO TO TRAFFIC SCHOOL, DO I STILL GET POINTS ON MY LICENSE?

After you pay the fine, points may show up on your DMV record unless you can go to traffic school. If the court allows you to attend a traffic school and receives your completion of the class before the deadline, the points should not show up on your record.

WHAT IS THE DEADLINE TO GO TO TRAFFIC SCHOOL IN CALIFORNIA?

Your traffic citation will be extended for 90 days to allow attendance and completion of the traffic school and dismissal of the citation.

IF I PAY THE FINE, DO I STILL HAVE TO GO TO COURT?

If you received a ticket for an infraction, you can most likely do everything you need to do by mail. It is required that you go to court for a misdemeanor, however. If you don't want to go to court, ask the court if you can plead guilty and pay the fine by mail, pay to go to traffic school, or have a trial by mail (also called a "trial by written declaration"). If you plead guilty and pay the fine, you will get points on your driving record and your car insurance payment will go up. If you don't go to court or pay the fine, your license will be suspended and the court can charge you with a misdemeanor and issue a warrant for your arrest.

IF I ATTEND TRAFFIC SCHOOL, DO I STILL HAVE TO PAY A FINE?

If you are elligible for traffic school, you may get your penalty reduced and just have to pay a court fee and traffic school fee. Learn more here.

WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS FOR A CALIFORNIA SPEEDING TICKET/INFRACTION?

The Superior Court Traffic Services allows you to pay for a traffic ticket, request traffic school, request a 60-day extension from the court appearance date on the ticket or a 30-day extension to complete traffic school, request a court date, check on the status of a traffic ticket by the citation number or by a California driver's license number, or request a Trial by Written Declaration.

Generally, you are eligible to attend a traffic school and have the citation dismissed from your record upon completion of the class if you have not attended traffic school in the state of California in the past 18 months. Your courtesy notice will indicate whether or not you are eligible for the traffic school program.

CAN I BE ARRESTED IF I DON'T SIGN A TRAFFIC TICKET IN CALIFORNIA?

Yes. A summons is an order to appear and your signature is a "promise to appear." You have two options: sign the ticket and go on your way, or not sign and go to jail for refusing to promise to appear. California Vehicle Code 40302 section (b) states: Whenever any person is arrested for any violation of this code, not declared to be a felony, the arrested person shall be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate within the county in which the offense charged is alleged to have been committed and who has jurisdiction of the offense and is nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the arrest is made.

CAN I GO TO TRAFFIC SCHOOL IF I DON'T SIGN A TRAFFIC TICKET?

It would depend on how many points were assessed for the particular violation. In the state of California, you are eligible to attend traffic school once every 18 months for a vehicle violation of one point.

CAN I RENEW MY REGISTRATION WITH A SPEEDING TICKET ON MY RECORD?

The DMV will check when it is time to renew the registration on your vehicle to see if there are any outstanding issues. If a failure to pay or a failure to appear is found, the DMV can refuse to renew your vehicle registration. Those who do not pay the traffic fine within the authorized time period may have their driver's license suspended and usually will not be able to renew their vehicle registration until they have paid all outstanding parking tickets and administrative fees in full.

CAN YOU PLEAD GUILTY TO A SPEEDING TICKET IN COURT?

You may enter one of the following pleas:

Guilty:
You admit to the violation(s). You may still explain the circumstances to the judicial officer. Your appearance is necessary and will result in a conviction once you enter your plea.

Not Guilty:
You deny the violation(s) and want to appear with the citing officer present.

No Contest:
You neither admit nor deny the violation(s). This plea is treated the same as a guilty plea.

DO PARKING TICKETS INCREASE INSURANCE PREMIUMS?

No, parking tickets are not filed with the court. Don't go to or call the court unless the parking agency has decided on your case and you want to appeal the agency's decision.

DO YOU HAVE TO PLEAD GUILTY TO GO TO TRAFFIC SCHOOL?

If you get a traffic ticket and you think that you are not guilty, go to court on the date and time listed on your ticket or on the notice the court mailed to you. In court, the judge or judicial officer will ask what you plea, guilty or not guilty. If you say that you are not guilty, the judge will give you a date for a trial. The judicial officer may also ask you to pay the fine. If you have a misdemeanor or felony case, the judicial officer will ask you if you have enough money to pay for a lawyer. If you do not, the court will give you a lawyer for your case. If the judge finds that you are, in fact, guilty, then he MAY give you the option of attending a traffic school. Otherwise, if you are found not guilty, your case will be dismissed and the court will return your fine with no points assessed.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO PAY THE TRAFFIC TICKET FINE?

Read your "Notice to Appear". There you will find the name of the court that will decide your case, the deadline to pay the ticket or go to court, and what you must do to respond to the ticket. If you were under the age of 18 when you received the ticket, this information may be sent to you later by the court.