Due to COVID-19, the world keeps changing quickly – including how you deal with your Los Angeles traffic ticket. If you received a traffic ticket in Los Angeles County, you are likely confused about how to properly handle this in the best way possible, in order to avoid paying high fines and to make sure it does not negatively impact your driver’s license.
I’ve been a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney for nearly a decade, and in this article I explain the best way to take care of your Los Angeles traffic ticket.
Is Your Los Angeles Traffic Ticket Holding Your Driver’s License?
If you have a Los Angeles traffic ticket holding your driver’s license, this is because you have failed to appear in court prior to the COVID-19 epidemic. A failure to appear will result in a DMV hold placed on your driver’s license. If you did not resolve your traffic ticket once the DMV hold was placed, your driver’s license has likely now been suspended by the DMV (but don’t worry, we can help!).
Recently, the Court broke its contract with GC Services, a collections company that used to collect on unpaid traffic tickets for the Court. Now the Los Angeles Superior Court is doing its own collections on unpaid tickets, and is mailing out packets that give you basically three options: pay, pay, or PAY!!!
However, it isn’t always in your best interest to simply pay the ticket, because this can negatively impact your DMV record with DMV “points” that can cause your insurance rates to go up. Further, if you pay your ticket without actually putting it before a judge, you have no opportunity to get your fines dismissed or reduced by the judge. Also of extreme importance: even if you want to simply pay your ticket and be done with it to get your license back, most people can’t even figure out how to do it!
That’s because the Los Angeles Superior Court, regardless of their new “Here for you, safe for you” slogan, is much better at causing frustration and confusion than actually helping drivers deal with their traffic tickets. The rules keep changing constantly, and even the “systems” they set up have been inconsistent or have not worked for many before they contacted our law firm. On the other hand, when you hire an experienced Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney us to go to Court for you, we can accomplish everything you need to give you the best results possible.
What if My Los Angeles Traffic Ticket is Not Holding My License, but I Still Need a Court Date?
Pursuant to the latest Court order, if your ticket was due to be paid between March 17, 2020 and September 14, 2020, you will be granted an extension and a failure to appear will not be assessed against you. If you aren’t sure when your traffic ticket is due, you can view the due date at the bottom of your ticket, as shown in the image on the right.
If you lost your ticket or are still unsure when you were supposed to appear in court, you can contact me for help and I will be able to assist you by either locating your ticket in the Court database, or by reviewing your DMV report for you (I know a secret way to get your DMV report without going in person to the DMV!).
In the case where your ticket is holding your license and you need to clear the hold ASAP, there is a good chance you are confused about the proper steps to take – either because you can’t find the correct information online, or because even after following the Court’s instructions you are still having problems getting through to anyone.
This is because, due to the pandemic, the Court is quite frankly a mess right now! If you need help getting your license back and clearing up your traffic ticket, we have successfully navigated this for our clients and we can do the same for you – just contact us for help.
But if you fall in the camp of having your traffic ticket due between March 17th and September 14th of 2020, your license will not be suspended if you didn’t go to court yet. I would find comfort in the Court’s assurance that all of the traffic tickets with due dates during this period of time will be granted an automatic extension, and fortunately no DMV hold will be placed on your driver’s license.
If you haven’t failed to appear on your traffic ticket yet, eventually, court dates will be available and you will be able to calendar a court date either online here, or set an appointment with a traffic clerk by calling the specific courthouse phone number here.
Los Angeles Traffic Ticket with Mandatory Court Appearance
Some Los Angeles traffic tickets require a mandatory appearance, such as driving over 100mph under VC 22348(b), or a cigarette litter ticket under VC 23111.
If you don’t have the time, know-how, patience, or resolve to get in to court to fight your ticket on your own, don’t let it go to FTA status! You can contact me for help below.
Not Traffic School Eligible for your Los Angeles Traffic Ticket?
Getting a point on your DMV record can be quite costly because your insurance company will raise your premium. If you are a commercial driver, getting a point on your record can be much worse – in some cases resulting in termination from employment.
You are not traffic school eligible if:
- you have gone in the past 18 months
- your violation carries two points instead of just one (such as driving with a suspended license or exhibition of speed)
- you are a commercial driver (“commercial driver traffic school” only removes the point for purposes of a negligent operator suspension, but not for insurance or employment purposes)
When you’re not traffic school eligible, hiring a traffic ticket attorney becomes more necessary to protect your job, your insurance, and your DMV record.
Find Help During the Pandemic
With the pandemic (aka “coronacoaster”) causing changes practically every minute, the rules are a bit up in the air right now. But as a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney for nearly a decade, we are helping our clients resolve their tickets in the manner that is best for them.
I will be updating this blog post as the rules change, and as the Court issues further guidance. Until then, if you are tired of the back and forth with the Court only to reaching dead-ends, contact us below to get this issue cleared up ASAP, and once and for all. You can contact us by:
- Text or Call at 949-973-6478
- Use the contact form below and we will reach you in the manner that is best for you
We look forward to assisting you!