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Glossary of Traffic Ticket Terms and General Traffic Court Terminology

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Please refer to the Glossary below for information on general court terminology and Traffic Ticket, Traffic Violation and/or Traffic Infraction terms.  If you do not see a term you are looking for, please feel free to contact one of our Traffic Ticket Experts at 800 850-8038 or visit our main Ticket Busters of California site at http://www.TicketBust.com

APPEAL – The act of removing a case to a higher Court for review and potential revision of the lower Court’s judicial action.


BAIL – (noun) The surety or sureties who procure the release of a person under arrest; by becoming responsible for his appearance at the time and place designated. Those persons who become sureties for the appearance of the defendant in Court. (verb) To free a person arrested or imprisoned, on security being taken for his appearance on a day and a place certain before the Court, which security is called “bail”; to deliver the defendant to persons who become security for his appearance in Court. 


BAIL AMOUNT – Amount of fines and/or fees that must be paid for the traffic infraction, traffic violation or traffic ticket.   As required by the court, when using a Trial by Written Declaration, you must pay your bail (the fine of your ticket) up-front when processing your paperwork. When you mail your documents include a check payable to Superior Court for your bail amount. If you do not know the bail amount or if you have not received your courtesy notice from the court, call the court to get the bail amount for your citation. Will you get your bail back if found "not guilty"? Yes. If you are found "not guilty," the court will return the bail to the person that paid it within 60-90 days.

BAILIFF – A Court Attaché who maintains courtroom order, security and jury custody. In Traffic Court, this is the officer who will take any documents needed from you and provide them to the Judge.  Under no circumstances should you ever approach the Judge when providing documents or other proof regarding your traffic ticket, traffic violation or traffic infraction.

CALENDAR – The cases set for hearing or trial in a specific department, on a given date and time, are referred to collectively as that department’s calendar.

CALENDARED – A case which has been set for a specific date, time and department, whether for hearing or trial, is said to have been calendared.

CHP California Highway Patrol

CITATION – (a) A form of writ issued by a Court commanding the cite to appear in Court in a specific date and time; (b) A reference to a specific code section or case used in support of a legal argument or opinion; (c) A traffic ticket issued to document alleged violation of a Vehicle Code Section.

CITY COURTFinding a City Court

CONTEMPT – A willful disregard of the authority of a Court or judicial or legislative body, or disobedience to its lawful orders.

COTSCalifornia Office of Traffic Safety

COUNTY COURT Finding a County Court

COURTHOUSE Finding a Local Courthouse

DISMISSAL – A judge's ruling that a lawsuit or criminal charge is terminated.

DMVCalifornia Department of Motor Vehicles, California DMV Publications

DMV ABSTRACT (Criminal and Juvenile Traffic Divisions) – A form which is completed to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento of the disposition of violations of specified sections of the Vehicle Code and some Penal Code sections.

FAILURE TO APPEAR – If you (1) skip out on your court date, (2) decide not to show up for court, (3) forget to show up for court, or (4) show up on the wrong day, it is considered Failure to Appear on your court date.  When you signed your traffic ticket, you made a promise to either go to court or, in some cases, pay the fine.  If you do not go to court or pay your fine, your driver's license can be suspended. In addition, you may not be able to renew your car's registration.  The judge can also charge you with "failure to pay a fine." If that happens, the court can charge you with a misdemeanor and issue a warrant for your arrest or add an additional fee (called a "civil assessment") of up to $300.

FIND MY COURT – Finding Your Local Court

POINTS –  Points are what show up on your California driving record and can cause your license to be revoked or suspended depending on the number you have in a given period of time.  If found guilty of your traffic ticket, traffic infraction or traffic violation, after you pay your fine, points may show up on your DMV record unless you can go to traffic school. If the court lets you go to traffic school and you turn in your proof of completion of traffic school to the court before the deadline, the points should not show up on your record.  If you get points on your record, your insurance company may ask you to pay more for insurance because of this, or they may cancel your policy and tell you to find insurance elsewhere. Points can stay on your record for 3 to 7 years.

SKIPPING OUT ON COURT DATE – If you (1) decide not to show up for court, (2) forget to show up for court, or (3) show up on the wrong day, it is considered skipping out on your court date.  When you signed your traffic ticket, you made a promise to either go to court or, in some cases, pay the fine.  If you do not go to court or pay your fine, your driver's license can be suspended. In addition, you may not be able to renew your car's registration.  The judge can also charge you with "contempt of court" or "failure to pay a fine." If that happens, the court can charge you with a misdemeanor and issue a warrant for your arrest or add an additional fee (called a "civil assessment") of up to $300.

TR-205 FORM
– A fillable PDF form can be accessed at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/tr205.pdf.


TR-205
– See Trial by Written Declaration. 


TR-220 – See Trial De Novo.

TR-220 FORM – A fillable PDF form can be accessed at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/tr220.pdf

TRAFFIC FINES – The fee that the State of California Vehicle Code has established for your specific Traffic violation.  For more information on Traffic Fines and paying fines, visit Payment of Traffic Fines

TRAFFIC SCHOOL – If found guilty of your traffic ticket, traffic infraction or traffic violation, after you pay your fine, points may show up on your DMV record unless you can go to traffic school. If the court lets you go to traffic school and you turn in your proof of completion of traffic school to the court before the deadline, the points should not show up on your record.  The court can tell you what you need to do to be able to go to traffic school. If this is your first ticket and the court lets you go to traffic school, you should not get any points on your record.  In addition to the court fees, the traffic school will also charge you for the class. It will take a whole day to complete. Some courts let you go to traffic school on the Web.  As long as you have not been to traffic school in the last 18 months and the court honors traffic school for the type of violation you committed, you will get traffic school upon requesting it from the judge. According to Vehicle Code section 42005 and pertaining to People vs. Wozniak, you can still have the option to attend traffic school even after you have been found guilty of the alleged violation.

TRAFFIC TICKET ATTORNEY – A ‘Traffic Ticket Attorney’ is a misleading term. There are plenty of attorneys that will handle your traffic ticket, but they are not classified as ‘Traffic Ticket’ Attorneys with the California State Bar.  If an attorney does accept your case to fight traffic ticket (especially an infraction), be leery!  You can go to traffic court without a lawyer.  If you want a lawyer for a traffic infraction (like speeding or running a red light), you can hire one, but the court will not give you one. We at TicketBust.com believe that using our service to fight your traffic ticket is a much better approach!  For some misdemeanors like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is a good idea to have a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, the court will give you one.

TRAFFIC TICKET LAWYER – A ‘Traffic Ticket Lawyer’ is a misleading term. There are plenty of lawyers that will handle your traffic ticket, but they are not classified as ‘Traffic Ticket’ Lawyers with the California State Bar.  If a lawyer does accept your case to fight a traffic ticket (especially an infraction), be leery!  You can go to traffic court without a lawyer.  If you want a lawyer for a traffic infraction (like speeding or running a red light), you can hire one, but the court will not give you one. We at TicketBust.com believe that using our service to fight your traffic ticket is a much better approach!  For some misdemeanors like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is a good idea to have a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, the court will give you one.

TRIAL BY WRITTEN DECLARATION – or TR-205.  Vehicle Code Section 40902 allows the defendant (you the cited driver) to contest citations in writing, without having to make a personal appearance in court. A Trial by Written Declaration is available in cases involving infractions of the Vehicle Code or of local ordinances of the Vehicle Code. Violations eligible for a Trial by Written Declaration must be infractions only. Misdemeanors and cases involving accidents are ineligible for a Trial by Written Declaration.  A fillable PDF form can be accessed at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/tr205.pdf.

TRIAL DE NOVO – or TR-220. Trial De Novo means "all things are new" (Judge, Venue and Evidence) and is in court, in person.  Do you need legal representation in court for a Trial De Novo?  Once you process the request with the court for a new trial on your own behalf, you will have to make the personal appearance in court yourself. Law firms are available for legal representation in court, but are not mandatory. We are strictly a professional filing agency and not a law firm, so we do not offer representation for you in court.  A fillable PDF form can be accessed at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/tr220.pdf

VCCalifornia’s Vehicle Code

 

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ABC News Channel 7 Feature Ticketbust.com
Interviewed by Ric Romero, CA

Ric Romero, consumer specialist for Channel 7 ABC News, features TicketBust.com. Mr. Romero states "TicketBust.com says it's helping California traffic violators beat tickets without them ever having to show up in court." TicketBust fights tickets by helping drivers file what's known as a Trial by Written Declaration, which allows drivers to contest the ticket in writing.

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