California Traffic Laws: Common Violations

As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney who has handled thousands of Los Angeles traffic tickets for my clients, I have noticed there are a handful of traffic tickets which seem to be the most common types of offenses drivers get written up for.

Driving without valid registration, driving without insurance, and driving without a valid license are three very common traffic tickets I see issued in Los Angeles County.

Driving with Expired Registration in California

Driving with expired registration in California under VC 4000 is a common reason my clients end up in traffic court.

Often California drivers simply forget to register their vehicles in a timely manner. It’s not that you didn’t want to pay your registration, but you put that letter in a forgotten stack of mail somewhere and now it’s off of your radar.

No registration tickets are usually issued by law enforcement after you got pulled over for another, unrelated reason. This reason could have been anything that would give law enforcement “probable cause” (which is constitutionally required in order to stop you on the street) such as speeding or driving with expired tags in California.

In other cases, you may be waiting on your car to pass a smog test before you can get it registered. This often entails expensive car repairs, so getting the registration valid takes a backseat to these other priorities.

Fortunately, when you finally get your California vehicle registration valid, even after you’ve already received the ticket, the court will dismiss this charge for only a $25 dismissal fee.

Driving without Insurance

Driving without insurance under VC 16028 is also a common traffic ticket.

This is another common violation due to simple forgetfulness – your insurance policy lapses, or you intend on switching insurance carriers, but you continue driving and get stopped by law enforcement before you’ve done so.

Driving without insurance is a very expensive ticket, over $800. This offense is unlike driving without registration because getting after-acquired insurance will not entitle you to a dismissal in traffic court.

If, on the other hand, your insurance was actually valid when you were stopped by law enforcement but you simply didn’t have proof of coverage, in this case you can get the ticket dismissed for $25, upon showing proof to the court.

Driving without a License

A driving without a license under VC 12500 ticket is known as a “wobbler” which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as an infraction.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the case will be brought in criminal court rather than traffic court. As an experienced traffic ticket attorney, I can often convince the District Attorney to reduce a misdemeanor charge to an infraction once you get your license valid.

If your license is invalid due to a failure to appear, you want to watch out for the collections agency named GC Services that will try to collect from you on the money you owe for this ticket.

But if you are in collections due to an FTA charge, don’t pay GC Services until you’ve contacted me for a consultation (below) because getting your license back can be done much more cheaply and with less damage to your DMV record by resolving the case in traffic court instead.

Get Help with Your Traffic Ticket

Many traffic tickets can be resolved inexpensively if you have the know-how. Often an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help point you in the right direction.

For a free consultation, you can contact me here:

By |2018-06-13T14:53:56+00:00January 4th, 2013|

About the Author:

Paul Denni is the Founder and Managing Attorney at California Legal Defense, Inc. He blogs about legal issues affecting his clients.