Q: Where do I go if I have questions about a traffic citation?
A: You must contact the court specified on the Notice to Appear citation form to obtain information about your ticket.
You will receive a courtesy notice from the court. To avoid a personal appearance, you may pay the bail before your appointment date. You must report to the clerk's office on or before your appearance date. If you appear on your appearance date you must appear no later than 8:00 a.m. at the Willows court and no later than 11:30 a.m. at the Orland court and check in with the clerk’s office.
Q: How can I get an extension?
A: If eligible, individuals receiving a moving violation have approximately 4 months from the violation date to complete Traffic School. Accordingly, no extensions will be granted by the clerks.
Q: How do I know if I am eligible for traffic school?
A: The courtesy notice sent to you by the court will indicate if you are eligible for traffic school. You are eligible for traffic school if you have not attended traffic school within the last 18 months. If there are any correctable violations on your citation, these corrections must be received along with any fees before you will be approved to attend traffic school. Your citation must not be for more than two moving violations that do not require a mandatory appearance, or not more than two moving violations plus a seat belt violation. Please carefully read your courtesy notice in its entirety. You may attend a traffic school in person or by computer. Click here for a list of on-line traffic schools approved by DMV.
Q: By completing traffic school, will the ticket be taken off my driving record?
A: No, the violation remains on your driving record with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The court clerk reports to the DMV that you have attended traffic school. The DMV will suppress this information from your insurance company.
Q: What do I do if I receive a Notice to Appear "fix-it" ticket? How do I show proof of correction?
A: When a violation is eligible for correction, the "yes" box is checked in the "Correctable Violation (Veh. Code, § 40610)" portion of your Notice to Appear. Upon correction of the violation, have a law enforcement officer or an authorized inspection/installation station agent sign the reverse of your ticket in the "Certificate of Correction" section. Registration and driver's license violations may also be corrected at an office of the California DMV by any clerk or deputy of a court. The violation will be dismissed by the court after proof of correction and payment of transaction fee are presented to the court by mail or in person by the appearance date.
Q: What if I disagree with the ticket the officer wrote, what can I do?
- A: You have three options available to you, if the citation is an infraction that does not require a mandatory court appearance:
You can post the bail amount and request a trial by written declaration. The trial by written declaration form is available in the clerk’s office or you may request a form be mailed to you. The trial by declaration is a method of contesting your case without making a court appearance. You and the officer will each submit a written statement of the facts of the case. A judge or commissioner will review the declarations and make a decision on the case.
You can request a court trial by mail or in person. The clerk's office must receive a completed "Written Not Guilty Plea" form. You will be required to post the total amount of bail owed on your case if you are requesting a court trial by mail. Contact the clerk's office to have a Written Not Guilty Plea form mailed to you.
Q:What happens if I am issued a traffic citation and I do not appear?
- A: By signing the traffic citation you have given your promise that you will appear. However, most tickets can be taken care of without appearing in court merely by paying the bail amount due on or before your court appearance date. By paying the bail amount without appearing in court, you will be convicted of the violation and the violation may appear on your record at the DMV. A point may be charged to your DMV record (depending on the violation) and your insurance may be adversely affected.
If you fail to pay the bail or appear in court, you may be charged with a failure to appear. You may be arrested and punished by six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine regardless of the disposition of the original charge (Veh. Code, § 40508). In addition, any person who fails to appear as provided may be deemed to have elected a trial by written declaration (in absentia) pursuant to Vehicle Code section 40903(a) upon any alleged infraction, as charged by the arresting/citing officer. Your driver's license may be withheld, suspended, or revoked. In some courts, you may be charged an amount in addition to the bail amount and the case may be turned over to a collection agency (Pen. Code, § 1214.1).
Q: Can I make payments on my ticket?
- A: Yes. The clerk's office has the authority to set up payments. You will be assessed an administrative fee for this service. You will be required to sign a contract agreeing to the payment schedule. This is the same arrangement that will be received by an individual who is placed on calendar to request payments. The clerk's office will be able to quickly process your case for payments without the need to spend the entire afternoon in court to achieve the same result.
- Click Here For A Printable Civil Filing and Appearance Fees List