Traffic Court
This section is designed to provide useful information regarding traffic issues, including frequently asked questions, online forms, the California Vehicle Code, information on pending traffic-related legislation, and links to local courts and other helpful sites.

DMV Online Services

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) understands the importance of giving its users convenient access to its online services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is why the DMV’s new site now offers a multitude of online resources that visitors will find useful. Some of the transactions that can be performed safely and securely online include the ability to:

  • Setting up an appointment to visit the DMV, should a visit to a field office be required;
  • Changing your residence or mailing address for your California Driver License or Identification Card;
  • Renewing your vehicle registration;
  • Estimate your vehicle license fees so you can more accurately estimate your loan payments;
  • Ordering personalized license plates for your car or boat.

Go to DMV Online Services

Pay your traffic ticket on-line!

You must have your case/citation number available so your payment will be applied correctly. A convenience fee will be charged to your credit card for this service. Make your payment online now.

Pay your traffic ticket by calling 1-800-533-0583!

Note: If you are requesting a court trial and intend to plead not guilty, you cannot pay by credit card; you must contact the court:

Glenn Superior Court
(530) 934-6446
526 W. Sycamore Street
Willows, CA 95988

On-line traffic school is now available!

View a list of DMV approved Traffic Schools

More than 5 million traffic violations are filed each year in California's courts. There are three levels of severity of traffic violations: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Most traffic violations are infractions, but some, like vehicular manslaughter, are felonies.

Infractions are not punishable by jail or prison and are not subject to trial by jury; the punishment is a fine. Penalties for infractions can be as much as $200 or more for common traffic infractions including speeding, running a red light or stop sign. 

Misdemeanors, such as driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, can carry penalties of as much as $2,000 or more and/or confinement in a city or county jail. The maximum penalty allowed in California for a misdemeanor is one year in county jail and/or a fine. Felonies are punishable by formal probation or formal confinement in state prison.

Traffic Infractions

The most common infractions are moving violations without injury, such as speeding and running a red light. Drivers stopped for moving violations are usually released after they sign a Notice to Appear, printed on the ticket, agreeing to appear at a set date and time. The traffic ticket provides information about when to appear in court. Drivers charged with an infraction that want to admit guilt can avoid a court appearance by paying the fine in person or by mail. If drivers do not appear or pay the traffic fine within the authorized time, their driver?s license may be suspended. Usually they will not be able to renew their vehicle registration until they have paid all outstanding parking tickets and administrative costs in full. Drivers who plead not guilty and request a trial may be required to post bail or sign a written document to appear in court. If they fail to appear, they may be charged with the additional misdemeanor of violating their agreement to appear. In this case, a warrant may be issued for their arrest and their driving privilege may also be suspended.

Traffic Misdemeanors

The most common misdemeanors are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving without a valid license. In some cases, drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be taken into custody. Drivers charged with almost all other traffic misdemeanors and infractions usually will not be taken into custody but will be asked to sign a Notice to Appear in court.

Traffic Infraction Trials

If a driver has been charged with a traffic violation they do not have the right to trial by a jury. The defendant may offer opposing evidence, argue the law, present supporting witnesses and other evidence, and cross-examine the law enforcement officer who issued the citation.

If a driver is judged "not guilty," the bail will be refunded if previously posted. Drivers judged "guilty" must pay the fine or, in a serious misdemeanor, serve the sentence. People who willfully do not pay the fine and/or do not serve the sentence within the time authorized may be charged with contempt of court or failure to pay a fine, in which case court collections unit will begin to pursue the court-ordered debt from the individual.

Driving Under the Influence

The penalties for driving under the influence vary depending on the number of a driver's prior convictions for this offense.

A first-time violation can be punished by a jail term of not more than six months, a fine and penalty ranging from $1,000 to $2,700, and suspension or restriction of driving privileges for six months. Drivers with three DUI convictions within seven years normally receive jail terms of not less than 120 days nor more than one-year and a fine and penalty of not less than $1,053, and no more than $2,700. The person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be revoked for three years.

Drivers charged with a DUI must appear in court for an arraignment and may be requested to post bail. Bail can vary from $300 to $15,000. Whenever the possible sentences include jail time, the court, upon request, will appoint an attorney for drivers who cannot afford to hire one.

How Parking Violations Are Settled

Since July 1, 1993, legislation transferred the adjudication (settling) of parking tickets from the courts to the issuing agencies. 

Only cases that are appealed because they cannot be settled after hearings with the issuing agency will come to the court. 

Mandatory Automobile Insurance Law

Under the mandatory insurance law, all drivers must carry evidence of financial responsibility and must provide that evidence to an officer on request. A driver who fails to provide proof of insurance on request by an officer during a traffic stop is guilty of an infraction.

If the defendant claims an inability to pay both the insurance and the fine or other financial hardship, the court may allow the defendant to make installment payments or to pay the entire amount within a specified time. If you request installment payments, an additional $35.00 will be charged to your account.The court may reduce or waive the fine based on a defendant's inability to pay, but the Legislature specifically declared that it is in the interest of justice that the minimum fines for violations be enforced. In a case of extreme financial hardship, the court may allow the defendant to substitute community service in place of payment of the fine.

If the defendant fails to pay the fine (or complete community service), the court may issue a warrant for the separate offense of failure to pay or obey a court order, may assess civil assessments, may impose additional fines, and may suspend the defendant's driving privileges.

Traffic Tickets

If you are charged with a traffic misdemeanor or infraction, you usually will not be taken into custody. Instead, you will be asked to sign a Notice to Appear, often called a "citation" or a "ticket." You may be taken into custody if you refuse to sign the citation; the arresting law enforcement officer also signs it. Your signature does not mean that you are admitting guilt. It only means that you promise to appear in court at a date and time specified either on the front of the Notice to Appear or in the courtesy notice that may be mailed by the court to the address on the citation. The court appearance will usually be a minimum of 21 days after the ticket is issued.

General traffic information please call the Clerk’s Office at 530-934-6446.

Payments on delinquent traffic ticket fines contact the collection agency.

California Rules of Court, Rules 4.106 and 4.335

You have the right to petition the Court to reduce or vacate the civil assessment or for a judicial officer to determine if you have the ability to pay your fine.

Reduce or Vacate Civil Assessment

You must ask the Court, in writing, for a review of your circumstances. You have the option to ask the Court to make a determination based on your declaration and supporting documents or request to appear before a judicial officer to be heard. The judicial officer will make the determination of whether or not there is good cause to reduce or vacate the civil assessment. 

The petition can be obtained from the clerk's office or you can download the petition form.

Ability-to-Pay Determination

You may ask the Court for an ability-to-pay determination at sentencing or while the judgement remains unpaid. Your petition will be reviewed by a judicial officer to determine your ability to pay your fine. The court may:

  • Allow you to make installment payments;
  • Allow you to complete community service to satisfy your fine; – Suspend the fine, in part or in whole;
  • Set the matter for a hearing; or
  • Deny the petition.

California Court Forms

PLEASE NOTE: A petition to reduce or vacate the civil assessment does not stay any order requiring the payment of bail, fines, penalties, fees, or assessments unless specifically ordered by the court.

Visit our FAQ page for more information.

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