Traffic Case and $930 Fine Dismissed
TRAFFIC COURT – SANTA MONICA COURTHOUSE — My client came to me in mid-2015 with seven unpaid traffic tickets received across three counties – Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego. She had failed to appear in court for all seven cases, and she owed a total of more than nine thousand dollars to the various courts. She had been visiting her boyfriend in California, and driving his car with her out-of-state license.
She received this particular ticket near LAX and the arraignment was at the Beverly Hills courthouse, which I attended and pleaded the client not guilty. The trial was set several months later at the Santa Monica courthouse. With the failure to appear, she faced $930 in fines and fees, until I took the case to trial.
The case was so old that the police officer did not have a clear recollection of the traffic stop or why he wrote my client a citation for failing to stop at a stop sign. With the officer’s faulty memory, I was able to argue to the court that there was reasonable doubt as to whether my client had actually violated the law. The case was dismissed, and so was the failure to appear. So, instead of $930, my client paid nothing to the court on this citation.
When you get a traffic ticket, you sign a promise to appear in court; failing to appear comes with stiff penalties. The $930 in this case is pretty typical – but in many cases you won’t have to pay it if you can successfully navigate the court process. There are several ways to fight a traffic ticket and several ways to negate that hefty failure to appear penalty. A qualified criminal defense attorney will be familiar with the system, the process, and the judges who make the decisions regarding your hard earned money.