Should I Pay a Traffic Ticket in LA County?

Paying a traffic ticket online in Los Angeles County has never been easier – especially after all of the website updates and technological advances that have improved the Los Angeles County traffic ticket website.

But is it really the best idea to pay your Los Angeles traffic ticket?

The truth is, whether to pay your traffic ticket really does depend on your specific situation.

What follows are three questions to help you make a decision.

Is the Traffic Ticket a “Moving Violation?”

If a specific traffic ticket is classified as a moving violation, then you will receive one or more points on your DMV record if convicted.

You can tell if a specific code section is a moving violation by consulting the Los Angeles traffic infraction bail schedule (the exclamation point in the far right hand column next to the code section indicates that offense is a moving violation).

You can still pay a traffic ticket without getting points on your DMV record if you are traffic school eligible and you duly complete traffic school.

You are not traffic school eligible if you have gone in the past 18 months or if you were speeding greater than 20 mph over the speed limit (in the case where the offense was a speeding offense).

If you are not traffic school eligible, and the ticket is a moving violation, it makes more sense to fight this ticket than to pay it, because getting a point on your DMV record could make your insurance premium increase substantially.

Is the Traffic Ticket a Correctable Violation?

You don’t want to pay a traffic ticket online if it is a correctable violation.

Examples of correctable violations are driving without insurance (in the case where you were actually insured) and driving with expired registration in California.

For driving without valid insurance, proof of valid insurance on the date of the violation means you’ll only be liable for a $25 dismissal fee (rather than $800 which is the fine for driving without insurance!).

For driving with expired registration, proof of current registration or proof you no longer own the vehicle is usually sufficient for the judge to dismiss it for a $25 dismissal fee as well.

Did You Have a Failure to Appear in Court on this Citation?

If you have a failure to appear violation under Vehicle Code 40508, then your case will be referred to a collections agency called GC Services.

When you get an FTA charge the DMV will put a hold on your license and your license will become suspended.

GC Services will drastically increase the fees on your traffic ticket and will try to collet this fee from you.

But don’t pay GC Services on your FTA – you’re still entitled to a court date and can get much better results in court, such as:

  • dismissed or greatly reduced fines in traffic court;
  • protecting your DMV record from points received on your DMV record; and
  • you can still clear the hold from your license by handling your case in court.

If you need help in court from an experienced traffic ticket attorney or would like more guidance on whether or not to pay a traffic ticket, you can contact me (Attorney Paul Denni) for a free consultation by clicking here:

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