California Traffic Ticket Questions
- How do I know which type of Traffic Ticket I have?
- What do I do if I get an Infraction Traffic Ticket?
- What is a Notice to Appear?
- How much will I have to pay for an Infraction Ticket?
- Do I get points on my driving record even if I pay my fine?
- How do I know if I can take Traffic School?
- Where can I find the traffic laws for California?
- Where can I find the court contact information?
- How long will it take to get my certificate?
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH TYPE OF TRAFFIC TICKET I HAVE?
In California, there are several traffic violations for which you can receive traffic tickets. The following is the three general types of citations:
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.
If you received a parking ticket, this is not filed with the court. Any fines you may have that relate to damaged vehicle equipment may be listed on this ticket. You must pay this ticket or the fines will increase and you may not be able to renew your vehicle registration. Contact the parking ticket agency on the ticket for information about what to do.
Infraction Traffic Ticket:
This ticket may have been issued to you for breaking speed laws, traffic laws, running red lights, etc. If a police officer pulls you over for breaking California Traffic Law they can charge you with an infraction. You may also be asked to sign the ticket, which is also called the "Notice to Appear". In addition, if you do not have proof of car insurance, you can be charged with an infraction for operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance.
Misdemeanor Traffic Ticket:
If you are charged with a misdemeanor traffic ticket this is a more serious offense. You can be charged with a misdemeanor for driving without a license, or on a suspended license. If these charges do not involve alcohol or drugs, you may be asked to sign the ticket or the "Notice to Appear".
WHAT DO I DO IF I GET AN INFRACTION TRAFFIC TICKET?
You may have to sign a "Notice to Appear", by signing the ticket. This does not mean you are guilty. It simply means you promise to go to court or pay the fine.
What if I don't want to go to court?
If you don't want to go to court you can:
- Pay the fine by mail
- Pay to go to traffic school or
- Have a trial by mail
If you plead guilty and pay the fine, you will get points on your driving record and your car insurance premiums may increase.
However, if you don't go to court or pay the fine, your license can be suspended and the court can charge you with a misdemeanor and issue a warrant for your arrest.
WHAT IS A NOTICE TO APPEAR?
The Notice to Appear, or act of signing the infraction or misdemeanor traffic ticket, is not the same thing as admitting you are guilty. The Notice to Appear is simply a promise to appear in court or pay the fine.
HOW MUCH WILL I HAVE TO PAY FOR AN INFRACTION TICKET?
The fine for infractions can be $370 or more.
DO I GET POINTS ON MY DRIVING RECORD EVEN IF I PAY MY FINE?
Points from your violation will appear publicly on your record unless you complete traffic school. If you submit proof of course completion from a licensed traffic school before the deadline, the new points will be hidden from your insurance provider. Remember, points on your driving record can cause your insurance company to increase your insurance premiums or even cancel your policy altogether.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I CAN TAKE TRAFFIC SCHOOL?
The court should be able to tell you whether or not traffic school is an option and what schools are licensed. You should not get any points on your record if:
- this is your first ticket
- the court allows you to go to traffic school
WHERE CAN I FIND THE TRAFFIC LAWS FOR CALIFORNIA?
The link below provides online access to the California Driver's Manual, Vehicle Code book and a list of all of the traffic laws and driving rules in California.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE COURT CONTACT INFORMATION?
If you would like to contact your court for questions about your ticket or taking traffic school, the link below will provide you a detailed list by county.
For more information about traffic citations and court procedure, visit: http://www.courts.ca.gov/
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY CERTIFICATE?
Once you pass the final exam, you will be able to instantly download your receipt and a certificate. All course completions are reported to the county court after finishing the course.