But sometimes, it’s not really in your best interest to pay your traffic ticket. Sometimes, it’s worth it to calendar a court date and fight your ticket in traffic court. And “fight” may be too strong a word – “resolve” is often how it actually happens.
The key is knowing when and why it may make sense to handle your Los Angeles traffic ticket in court, rather than blindly paying it. Further, you may be wondering whether you should hire a traffic ticket attorney for Metropolitan courthouse to help you out.
The purpose of this article is to help you find some answers so you can make a decision, given your own unique situation.
Traffic Ticket Attorney for Metropolitan Courthouse Explains When to Just Pay Your Ticket
As a traffic ticket attorney, I’ve been handling Los Angeles traffic tickets for my clients for nearly a decade. Over the course of this experience, I’ve seen it all.
The good news is that as technology progresses, the Los Angeles County Superior Court has improved it’s technology and its website to better serve those with traffic tickets in LA County. They have made it easy for you to just pay your traffic ticket online, if that is what you choose to do.
On the LA County traffic website, you can now:
- pay in full,
- make a partial payment, or
- request an appointment with the traffic clerk (this feature has cut down the lines for the traffic ticket windows tremendously).
So the question is: should you pay your traffic ticket?
The answer often depends on your DMV record and the type of ticket you received.
Your DMV Record and Type of Ticket
When you pay a Los Angeles traffic ticket, you are pleading guilty to it. This means you will receive a conviction on your DMV record. The traffic tickets that harm your DMV record are moving violations, which result in one or more DMV “points” on your DMV record.
Types of tickets that are moving violations include (but are not limited to):
- failure to obey a sign,
- failure to stop,
- crossing over a double yellow line,
- speeding, and
- illegal U-turn.
If you are traffic school eligible, you can take traffic school to prevent the point associated with these types of violations from going on your record.
Other types of tickets that can be easily handled outside of court are “correctable” violations. These types of tickets include tickets for illegal window tint as well as for cosmetics of your vehicle, such as a broken tail light ( these are so-called “fix-it tickets”).
As long as you haven’t missed the deadline, you can mail in proof of correction to the appropriate court branch with a $25 dismissal fee, and be done with it.
But there are other types of cases and situations that justify scheduling a court date and speaking to the judge, as discussed below.
Traffic Ticket Attorney for Metropolitan Courthouse Explains When You Should Handle Your Ticket in Court
Sometimes, paying a traffic ticket online is not the best option. Sometimes scheduling a court date will get you much better results. Below are a few examples of when it is best to calendar a court date and handle your Metropolitan courthouse ticket in front of a judge.
Multiple Point Violations or Not Traffic School Eligible
As discussed above, a moving violation is a type of ticket which, if you are convicted, will result in a DMV point on your DMV record. The reason this is bad is because even one point on your DMV record can cause your insurance premium to drastically increase.
Traffic school will have the effect of removing a potential point from your record, so that a conviction of a moving violation won’t result in a DMV point on your record.
The problem is, not all people, and not all cases are traffic school eligible. As a person, you are traffic school eligible if you haven’t done traffic school in the past 18 months, and assuming the judge allows traffic school (the judge will normally allow traffic school in all cases, except for when you were speeding more than 20 miles an hour over the speed limit).
But some types of cases are not traffic school eligible, and these are the cases that are “multiple point violations.” Examples of traffic tickets that result in two points on your record if convicted are driving with a suspended license and exhibition of speed.
In these cases, a traffic ticket attorney can help you get the case dismissed or amended in court in order to keep the points off of your record.
Failure to Appear in Collections with GC Services
Another situation when you should handle your ticket in court, rather than simply pay it, is when your case has been referred to GC Services due to a failure to appear.
*NOTE: If your case is with GC services due to failure to pay, you are not entitled to another court date because you’ve already had your day in court. In the failure to pay (FTP) situation, you have to pay GC Services in order to clear the hold from your license, unless the ticket is 5 years old and subject to the 5 year DMV purge rule.
But if your ticket has been referred to GC Services due to failure to appear, you are still entitled to a court date – even though GC Services will like to you and tell you that you’re not entitled to a court date!
This is why you shouldn’t pay GC Services when you have an FTA charge – because you can get much better results in court, including:
- still get the hold removed from your driver’s license, without paying GC Services;
- get your case dismissed or fines greatly reduced from the inflated amount GC Services is trying to collect from you;
- keep points off of your DMV record;
- keep the FTA charge from going on your criminal record, because in traffic court the severity of the FTA charge is automatically reduced.
So don’t pay GC Services on your Los Angeles traffic ticket if it has a failure to appear charge, unless you want to shoot yourself in the foot!
Whether to Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney for Metropolitan Courthouse
Some people think that because a case is “only a traffic ticket,” they can or should handle it on their own in traffic court. Unfortunately, traffic tickets can be deceivingly complex, and can take up more of your time than you intended.
When you handle your traffic ticket in court from start to finish, there could be two or more required court appearances. Depending on where in Los Angeles County your case is located, it might be very difficult for you to make it to court.
A traffic ticket attorney for Metropolitan courthouse can appear in court for you, without the need for you to be present in court whatsoever. Also, a good traffic ticket attorney can advise you of what to do in a situation where you may be receiving conflicting stories from the court, the DMV, and from the collections agency.
For a free consultation with me personally, you can reach me here: