Most drivers don't set out to get a ticket when they're on the road, but mistakes happen, and sometimes a traffic ticket follows. You may think there are limited options when dealing with a traffic ticket in Los Angeles, but there may be more possibilities than you realize. If you've recently received a traffic ticket, following these steps could mean getting the ticket dismissed without costly attorney fees.
Steps for Dismissing a Ticket in Los Angeles
Before you decide how you want to handle a ticket, you should know what options you have as a driver in Los Angeles.
Step 1: Go to Court
Your first option is to go to court and present your side of the story. It's possible you made an honest mistake or something wasn't posted clearly enough, and this is the time to present your facts. The judge could rule to dismiss your case or reduce your fine, especially if it's a first-time violation. You will be given a court date when you receive your ticket. You do not have to use an attorney and can choose to represent yourself, although you are allowed to bring a lawyer if you like.
You can call the Los Angeles Traffic Call Center at (213) 633-6300 to find out the exact location, date, and time of your court date.
Step 2: Pay the Fine for "Fix-It" Tickets
California allows drivers who receive tickets for "fixable" violations to correct the issue and pay the fine. If the requirements are met, then the ticket is dismissed. Common fixable violations include broken equipment like a tail light, incorrect information on a driver's license, or car registration issues. If you show proof you have taken care of the issue, plus pay the fine, then the ticket will be dismissed.
If you decide to fix the issue, you must present the proof with a signature from an authorized person, which can be mailed in or presented in court. If you need to pay a fine for a violation that can not be corrected, such as speeding, then follow the instructions on the ticket.
Step 3: Attend a California Traffic School
If your ticket involves a non-commercial vehicle and a moving violation, the state of California will likely allow you to attend Traffic School. This online course keeps points from getting added to your license (which raises your auto insurance rates) if you successfully complete the steps.
This option is available to drivers without any other prior tickets in the past 18 months. If you do choose to attend the school, you may still have a fine to pay or a court date to attend, but your license will not be affected.
What Offenses Qualify for Traffic School in California?
California allows almost any moving violation to qualify for traffic school. There are exceptions to this, including:
If there is a mandatory court appearance
Equipment and parking offenses
Commercial vehicle offenses
The Traffic School must be taught by a DMV-approved course. If you're unsure if your offense qualifies, you can verify through the DMV.
Know How to Get a Traffic Ticket Dismissed in Los Angeles
Getting a ticket does not automatically mean you have to pay outrageous fines or see an impact on your auto insurance rates. You do have options including going to court to explain your point of view, paying a reduced fine, or attending Traffic School with a DMV-approved course. Aceable offers DMV-approved options for California Traffic School that you can take entirely online.