Jul. 21, 2014
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Traffic and infractions (adult)

There are three types of citations (commonly referred to as “tickets”):

Parking Citations

If you received a parking citation from Marysville Police Department, you should contact the City of Marysville at (530) 749-3901.  The Court does not handle Marysville parking citations.

If you receive a parking citation in Yuba County, you should contact the Court Collections Division.

Infactions Citations

If a police officer issues a citation for speeding or an expired registration, these citations are called “infractions.”  In addition, there are other non-traffic infraction citations, such as Fish & Game, SARB (School Attendance Review Board), littering, etc.

Infractions can generally be taken care of at the Clerk’s Office either by paying the fines and fees or by providing proof of correction and paying a reduced amount.  The punishment for infractions is generally imposition of fines and fees (bail) without any potential jail or prison time; however, under certain circumstances, defendants can be remanded to jail for non-payment of traffic fines.  Other than red light camera citations and parking violations, the citation you received from the officer is called “Notice to Appear.”  By signing the citation, you are not admitting guilt; you are only promising to take care of the citation.  On the bottom of the citation, the officer will write the date and time the citation is due, as well as the court location.

Misdemeanor Citations

More serious crimes which have mandatory court appearances are called “misdemeanors.”  Misdemeanors are crimes punishable, at the discretion of the Court, by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of no longer than 1 year or by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or both.  Misdemeanor citations are handled by the Criminal Division.

 

Traffic Violator School

WARNING: You must have the Court's permission and pay a state-mandated traffic school administration fee before attending traffic school. Failure to do so will result in the Court rejecting your traffic school completion.

Effective July 1, 2011, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has taken over the licensing of all traffic violator schools. For the statewide list of authorized traffic school providers, please visit the DMV website at:

 http://www.dmv.ca.gov/olinq2/olApplication.do

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How are the dollar amounts of fines and fees established?

Fines and fees are set by the legislature and published by Judicial Council in “bail schedules” which are distributed to the California Courts for implementation. The purpose of the bail schedule is to provide uniform bail and penalties (fines and fees) throughout the state and provide judges with a guideline for use during sentencing.

For the latest bail schedule, please see the Judicial Council website.

I have questions about my citation. What should I do?

Please wait at least ten days from the day you receive your citation to contact the Court. The issuing agency needs time to process the citation and deliver it to the Court, and the Court needs time to enter your citation into its computer system. Court clerks cannot quote bail amounts to you until your citation has been entered in the Court’s computer system.

If you have questions about the officer or the way he wrote the citation, you should contact the issuing agency.

I was in Yuba City or on Highway 99 when I got my citation. Am I contacting the right place?

You should contact Sutter County Superior Court.

Will I get a notice from the Court?

If your citation is for an infraction, you should receive a “courtesy notice” from the Court approximately ten days after date you received the citation. The courtesy notice will give you information and options for taking care of your citation. The Court will mail the courtesy notice to the address on the citation. If your address is not correct on your citation, you should contact the Court; however, you should wait approximately a week to ten days after you received the citation before you call the Court to give the Court time to receive and process the citation. It is your responsibility to clear the citation even if you do not receive a notice from the Court.

How do I know when to come to court?

The officer who wrote your citation provided your court appearance date and time at the bottom of the citation. The officers typically write the address and phone number of the Court as well. If you do not see this information on the bottom of the citation, it will be on the courtesy notice you receive from the Court.

What if I don’t go to court or pay my citation?

Your citation includes an appearance date and time. If you fail to appear by that date, your driver’s license may be suspended, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and/or additional fines and fees may added to your citation.

What if I just want to pay my fine (forfeit bail)?

The courtesy notice will provide all the information you need to pay your fine (forfeit your bail.) You may pay your fine in person or through the mail. Please note that if you pay a moving violation (speeding, running stop sign, etc.) and do not attend traffic school, the Court is required to report a traffic conviction to DMV and your insurance may be adversely affected.

What if I need more time to pay my fine or get my car fixed?

The Court’s traffic clerks are authorized grant you a one-time 60-day extension after you receive your courtesy notice. Your request must be either in writing or in person at the clerk’s office. The traffic clerk will hand you a notice which will inform you of the new due date on your citation. It is your responsibility to follow up on your citation.

How can I get my corrections signed- off so my citation can be dismissed?

Any law enforcement agency can sign-off correctable violations. If you have registration or transfer of ownership violations, you can also go to DMV to get them signed-off. Some agencies will charge you a fee to sign-off on your citation. In addition, the Court will charge you a separate fee to process your signed-off citation. If you cannot provide a proof of correction to the Court for your correctable violations, you must pay the bail amount (fines and fees) indicated on your citation.

I have my correction, but my citation is in “failure to appear” (FTA) status. Can I still show my correction?

A traffic clerk can schedule you for an appearance on the walk-in calendar. On your court day, you will need to bring any information you want the judge to consider.

Can I see the judge to tell my side of the story?

If you receive a traffic citation and you feel you are not guilty, you should go to the Court on or before the date and time indicated on the citation, or the courtesy notice, and tell the clerk you want to plead “not guilty.” The traffic clerk will give you a form to fill out and will also give you a trial date. You will also be required to pay your fine/bail amount, which will be deposited in a holding account until the judge hears your case. You may also plead “not guilty” by writing a letter to the Court and including a check for the amount of bail (fines and fees) owed. You may fill out the Infraction Option Form (CN06033) and mail it or bring it to the Court along with your bail.

FORMS
Infraction Option Form CN06033
I want to plead “not guilty,” but do not have enough money to pay the fine. Can I still go to court?

You must “post bail” before you can have a court trial. Normally, the bail is the same amount as the fines and fees. If you want to request that the bail be lowered because of financial hardship, you must request to be set on the “walk-in calendar” to see the judge. The judge will ONLY hear the matter of reducing the bail amount, NOT the traffic case itself. If the judge agrees to lower your bail, then you must post the lowered amount before you can sign-up for a court trial. Keep in mind, however, that the lower bail amount does not mean the original fine/bail amount has been lowered. If you are found guilty, you may be required to pay any fine amounts that are above your bail amount. To sign-up as a walk-in, you MUST contact the court by phone or in person and speak to a clerk.

What will happen at my trial?

Your infraction trial will be heard by a judge or a “pro tem judge.” The law enforcement officer who issued your ticket will appear and testify as to why he or she gave you the citation. You or your lawyer can (a) present evidence, (b) present legal arguments, (c) bring witnesses to testify on your behalf, and (d) question the officer who gave you the citation. If you are represented by an attorney, the District Attorney’s office will represent the issuing agency at the trial.

What happens to the bail/fine I paid?

If you are found “not guilty,” the Court will return your money. A check will be mailed to you within approximately three weeks from the judge’s decision. If you are found “guilty,” the fine amount will be taken from the money you paid, which is commonly referred to as “forfeiting bail.”

What if I cannot come to court for a trial but I want to plead “not guilty” on my infraction?

You may ask for a “trial by declaration” if you cannot appear for a trial. This informal method of trial can benefit persons who have difficulty taking time off from work or for persons who have transportation problems or live a long distance away. (Please note that if your citation is written for a misdemeanor rather than an infraction, you are not eligible for a trial by written declaration.)

If you elect this option, you must submit your request for a trial by written declaration on or before the appearance date shown on your citation. Your case will be decided without requiring that you appear in court. The form Instructions for the Trial by Written Declaration (TR-200) outlines the process to obtain a trial by written declaration. The form Request for Trial by Written Declaration (TR-205) must be used to request a trial by written declaration. You can also get the forms below or from the Court’s Traffic Division either by mail or in person.

All forms must be filled out completely and signed. You must send in the full amount owed on your citation with the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (TR-205). The Request for Trial by Written Declaration, your statement, and the full amount owed must be sent to Yuba County Superior Court.

FORMS
Instructions for Trial by Declaration TR-200
Request for Trial by Written Declaration TR-205
What if I have witnesses or evidence for the judge to see but they can’t come to court with me?

You may have a subpoena issued by the traffic clerks and served on the person you want to come to court to testify for you. The form to use is Order to Attend Court or Provide Documents: Subpoena/Subpoena Duces Tecum (Judicial Council form CR-125). Once you have completed this form, bring the original and two copies of it to the clerk’s office. A traffic clerk will issue the subpoena, but you are responsible for having it served on the person you want to have testify. You should bring any evidence you want the judge to see or hear with you to your trial. The Court does not provide equipment for presenting your evidence, so if you need equipment, you must bring it with you.

If you have requested a trial by declaration, your witnesses may submit declaration(s) by mail not less than two days before your trial date. You may also include sketches, diagrams or photographs as exhibits to be reviewed by the judge at trial.

FORMS
Subpoena CR-125
How does the officer find out about the trial?

If you are having a trial by written declaration, the Court will request a written declaration from the police officer who issued your citation. Your statement, along with any statement you submit from a witness or any sketch, diagram or photograph, and the statement from the police officer will be referred to a judge for his/her review.

If you are not having a trial by written declaration and are instead appearing for a court trial, the Court will notify the officer of the date and time of the trial. .

How will I find out the judge’s decision on my trial by declaration?

The judge has 90 days to make a decision on your case.  You will be notified by mail of the judge’s decision.  If you are found “not guilty,” your money will be refunded to you by mail within approximately three weeks from the date of the judge’s decision.  If you are found “guilty,” the Court will impose a sentence.  If the sentence is a fine, the fine amount will be taken from the money you paid, which is commonly referred to as “forfeiting bail” 

If the fine is less than the amount of money you paid, the balance will be refunded to you within approximately three weeks from the judge’s decision.  If the fine is more than the amount you paid, the Court will notify you of the additional amount of money you must pay and the date it is due.

What if the judge took my case under submission?

The judge has 90 days to make a decision on your case.  You will be notified by mail of the judge’s decision.  If you are found “not guilty,” your money will be refunded to you by mail within approximately three weeks from the judge’s decision.  If you are found “guilty,” the Court will impose a sentence.  If the sentence is a fine, the fine amount will be taken from the money you paid which is commonly referred to as “forfeiting bail.”  If the fine is less than the amount of money you paid, the balance will be refunded to you within approximately three weeks from the judge’s decision.  If the fine is more than the amount you paid, the Court will notify you of the additional amount of money you must pay and the date it is due.

What if I do not agree with the judge’s decision after a trial by declaration?

If you are not satisfied with the Court's decision, you may ask for a new trial ("trial de novo".)  In order to obtain a new trial, you must file local form Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo) (TR-220) within 20 days after the date the Court's decision was mailed to you.

FORMS
Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo) TR-220
What if I do not agree with the judge’s decision after I appeared for my court trial?

You must file an appeal within 30 days of the judge’s decision.  Instructions are provided in the Judicial Council publication Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions (CR-141-INFO).  To file an appeal, you should complete the Judicial Council form Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (Infraction) ( CR-142), sign it and return the original and two copies to the Court.  You will be notified of a court date by the appeals clerk. 

FORMS
Information on Appeal Procedures CR-141-INFO
Notice of Appeal (Infraction) CR-142
If I appeal or have a trial de novo, will I have to pay any more money?

There is no fee for filing an appeal or requesting a trial de novo.

My citation is for not having insurance or proof of financial responsibility. Do I have to do anything special for that?

If you did not have insurance (proof of financial responsibility) at the time the citation was issued, you may pay the full bail/fine amount for this violation, or you may obtain insurance and pay a reduced bail amount.  You must submit proof of insurance (as described in the answer to the next question) to a traffic clerk to receive credit for “correcting” the violation.

If you were insured at the time the citation was issued, but were unable to provide proof of financial responsibility (insurance) to the officer who cited you, you should submit proof (as described in the answer to the next question) and pay a “proof of correction” fee.  The Court will dismiss the violation when it receives proof of financial responsibility and payment of the fee.

What information does my insurance card have to include for my violation to be dismissed?

Acceptable proof of financial responsibility must include the following information:

Name of the insurance carrier
Policy number
Effective dates of coverage
Name of person who received the citation and/or the vehicle listed on the citation

If the proof does include the required information it will not be accepted by the clerk as proof of correction.

Why should I go traffic school?

Traffic school is a type of diversion for infraction citations. Upon completion of traffic school, your violation will be dismissed and your DMV record will reflect your traffic school completion. If you pay a moving violation (speeding, running stop sign, etc.) and do not attend traffic school, your insurance may be adversely affected.

How do I find out if I am eligible for a traffic school dismissal?

You must meet the following criteria to be able to sign up for traffic school:

  1. You must currently possess a valid driver's license.
  2. The violation(s) on your citation must be eligible. 
  3. You may not have attended traffic school in the last 18-month period.
  4. Your citation must not have defaulted to a “failure to appear. “
  5. Your citation must not be related to alcohol use or possession of alcohol.
  6. Your citation must not be related to drug use or possession of drugs.
  7. You must not have been cited while driving with a Class A, Class B or commercial driver's license or driving a commercial motor vehicle.

If you have any questions about your eligibility contact the DMV for further information.

How do I sign up to go to traffic school?

You must pay your full fine/bail amount to the Court, plus the Court’s traffic school administrative fee.  The traffic clerk will note in the court’s computer system that you will attend traffic school and will give you list of available traffic schools.   When you contact the traffic school, they will provide further information regarding their classes and fees, which are separate from the Court’s fees.

How long do I have to complete traffic school?

You must complete one class either in person or on the internet.   You will have 90 days to complete the class and return the completion certificate to the Court.

How will DMV find out I went to traffic school?

When the court is notified of traffic school completion and all fines/fees have been paid the traffic clerk will report to DMV that your citation is dismissed because you completed traffic school.

What happens if I do not finish traffic school?

The Court will report your citation as “bail forfeited” which advises DMV that you paid the fine.  A point on your driving record will be assessed by DMV, which could adversely affect your insurance coverage.

I have two moving violations on my citation. Can I still go to traffic school?

If there are more than one traffic school-eligible violations on the citation, you must pay the highest bail plus the Court’s traffic school administrative fee.  Please note that the traffic school will also charge a fee.

I paid my bail a while ago but now I want to go to traffic school. Can I still go?

If you make a traffic school request within 30 days from the date you paid your bail, traffic clerks have the statutory authority to grant your request.  If it has been more than 30 days since you paid your bail, a traffic clerk can schedule you on the walk-in calendar so that you may ask the judge for permission to attend traffic school.

I am currently an inmate in state prison or I just got out of state prison. Can I request a dismissal of my traffic ticket?

Pursuant to California Vehicle Code § 41500, If you are an inmate in the California state prison system, or if you have recently been released from prison, you may request a dismissal of a “failure to appear” for any Vehicle Code violation( except a felony) which occurred prior to your commitment to state prison.  You are not eligible for a dismissal if:

  • You are in prison on a parole violation.
  • The Vehicle Code violation occurred while you were on parole.
  • The violation requires the immediate revocation or suspension of your driver’s license.
  • You already plead guilty or were found guilty of committing the violation.
  • Your ticket/citation is an a “failure to pay” status pursuant to Vehicle Code  § 40509.
  • Your ticket/citation is for a violation of Vehicle Code §§ 23103, 23152, or 23153.

You must provide the Court proof that you were incarcerated. Your parole officer can help you with this.

What is a Civil Assessment? What is Shasta Collections?

Please see the Collections Division page for more information.

© 2014 Superior Court of California - County of Yuba