As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney, my goal is to get the best results possible for my clients.
The best case scenario on your traffic ticket is an outright dismissal of your case, which means:
- you won’t pay any fines to the court, and
- you won’t receive any conviction on your court record or DMV report.
If I cannot achieve an outright dismissal of your case, the next plan of attack is to try to reduce the fine as much as possible. This article explains the different ways you can get your traffic ticket fine lowered.
1. Show Proof of Correction to Reduce Fines
Certain Los Angeles traffic tickets are considered “correctable” violations. An example of a correctable violation is driving with expired tags in California.
These types of citations can be reduced down to a $25 dismissal fee, upon showing the court paperwork from a law enforcement agency attesting to the court you have indeed corrected the issue.
2. Don’t Fail to Appear on Your Court Date
When you fail to appear on your court date, you are only going to create more problems for yourself.
There are two main things that will happen when you fail to appear in court on your traffic ticket:
- The court will notify the DMV and a 40509.5 hold will be placed on your driver’s license, and
- You will be charged in court with a failure to appear and additionally charged a $300 “civil assessment”.
Driver’s License Hold
The first reason you do not want to fail to appear on your Los Angeles traffic ticket is because of the effect it will have on your driver’s license.
When you FTA, a DMV “hold” will be placed on your driver’s license. This hold will eventually turn into a driver’s license suspension if you don’t act quickly to clear the hold from your driver’s license.
For a free consultation to get your license back as soon as possible, you can call me (Attorney Paul Denni) at 888-250-8450 or click here:
If your license is already suspended, don’t worry! I can still clear the hold from your traffic ticket so that you can get your driver’s license reinstated.
Failure to Appear Charge
The second reason you do not want to fail to appear on your Los Angeles traffic ticket is because in addition to the initial traffic ticket you will now be charged with failure to appear under Vehicle Code 40508(a).
The FTA charge is a wobbler, meaning it can be a misdemeanor or infraction. Paying GC Services on your FTA can sometimes result in your FTA appearing on a criminal background check!
Although failing to appear on your traffic ticket can cause additional problems, you can make matters even worse if you pay GC Services.
The best way is to handle your traffic ticket in court.
3. Show the Court the Reason for the Failure to Appear in Court
By law, you are not guilty of failure to appear in court if you missed your court date for any of these three reasons:
- you were in the hospital;
- you were in jail or prison; or
- you were in the military.
If you have any additional reasons for failing to appear, the judge can consider those as well when deciding whether to reduce or dismiss your fine.
By law, the judge must dismiss the failure to appear for any of the specific three excuses above.
4. Petition the Court to Vacate the Civil Assessment
If you have failed to appear on your traffic ticket, and you act quickly (within 20 days from the action date on the notification sent from the court), you can petition the court to vacate or reduce the civil assessment.
The form to the petition can be found by clicking here: petition to reduce or vacate civil assessment.
5. Ask the Judge and/ or the Officer
As a traffic attorney I’ve learned a very simple rule: ask and you shall receive (sometimes). Sometimes the officer won’t reduce the fines, but the judge will. Sometimes it’s the opposite.
Simply asking the judge or the officer to reduce your fines is usually not sufficient, but if you can show good cause as to why the fines should be reduced, the judge and officer have the power to do so.
Free Consultation with Attorney Paul Denni
For a free consultation, you can call me at 888-250-8450 or use the Contact Form below.