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  1. #1
    mysti9uemirage is offline Junior Member
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    Should we go to court to reduce the fine? What will help us?

    CA

    Hello,
    My mom failed to do a full stop at the limit line. The ticket said "Fail to stop", is that correct?. Is the penalty less for stopping without a full stop? She is employed to help elderly people, and so she doesn't have a lot of money, and her income is not consistent, should we go to court to ask for a reduction in the fine? Also, she noticed that the officer wrote down the time wrong, and has proof to say that the incident happened way before the time that he wrote down. That shows some negligence on his part. Will that help us to get the fine reduced? Thank you!
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysti9uemirage View Post
    Is the penalty less for stopping without a full stop?
    The phrase "full stop" is redundant. Stopped is stopped. One cannot be "fully stopped" without being "stopped." Did your mom stop?
  3. #3
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysti9uemirage View Post
    CA

    Hello,
    My mom failed to do a full stop at the limit line. The ticket said "Fail to stop", is that correct?. Is the penalty less for stopping without a full stop? She is employed to help elderly people, and so she doesn't have a lot of money, and her income is not consistent, should we go to court to ask for a reduction in the fine? Also, she noticed that the officer wrote down the time wrong, and has proof to say that the incident happened way before the time that he wrote down. That shows some negligence on his part. Will that help us to get the fine reduced? Thank you!

    No, no it doesn't.

    It shows a clerical error.

    And no, no it won't.
  4. #4
    proud_parent is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    No, no it doesn't.

    It shows a clerical error.

    And no, no it won't.
    I *so* wanted you to write, "No it won't, period."

    Or as you Brits like to say, full stop.
  5. #5
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by proud_parent View Post
    I *so* wanted you to write, "No it won't, period."

    Or as you Brits like to say, full stop.


    Must resist urge to edit.
  6. #6
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Traffic tickets and fines are one way that law enforcement uses in order to deter drivers from doing the same illegal actions again.

    What we get here are those that are looking for some tricks or suggestions that we can make in order to see if they can reduce the fines or get the ticket dismissed completely. In about 90% of these inquiries, it's all about how the person can't afford the ticket, and RARELY is it about the fact that they really didn't do it.

    People really need to pay more attention when they are driving.

    If they are watching the road and observing the streets around them as they are supposed to, then they will see the signs, the stop lines, the traffic, the obstacles. And if they see these things, then there is NO EXCUSE for getting the tickets.

    Mom needs to take this a lesson in what NOT to do. If she can't afford the ticket, then she needs to be spending more time concentrating on her driving instead of having you look for ways to absolve her of obvious guilt here.
  7. #7
    Cali408nia is offline Member
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    Here's what you may be able to do, as I recently went through a traffic ticket in CA in which I got the fine lowered.

    Wait for the letter in the mail which states your bail amount (or in other words, the amount of the fines) and pay attention to the due date. The letter will probably give you options, like pay the fine by mail, pay in person, or request an appearance. The only way you will get the fine lowered is to appear in traffic court. This means going down to the courthouse before the due date on the letter and asking to appear for arraignment, and scheduling a date 2 or 3 weeks in advance to come to court.

    As they say, come to court dressed nicely and ON TIME. Appearing in court 15 or 20 mins late could cost you your whole effort, because they will not let you make a plea without listening to a statement of your rights that the judge gives at the beginning of court. You're going to plead guilty, because I'm 98% sure the driver is guilty of the violation because 98% of stops in our state are not complete stops, aka California stops. Now, this infraction carries 1 point on your DMV record. So traffic school may or may not be something to look into. On the plus, traffic school will mask that point. On the minus, it will cost $30 to take traffic school. Insurance increase costs vs traffic school costs should be analyzed. This is all assuming you are eligible for traffic school (cant take it more than once every 18 months).

    Anyways, the judge may lower the fine for appearing and taking the matter seriously and admitting fault. They don't have to do that but a number of them will. I really can't estimate your chances because things vary by county and by judge, and I've only made 1 appearance in traffic court. He was really nice, and the only people he didn't lower the fines for were people that acted like idiots and wanted to argue circumstances and facts or people that had really bad driving records in the past. He lowered my fine by 30-35%, which I said "OK!"

    That's how you go about it, but there's no guarantee. I can't recall, but I think in some instances the judge couldn't lower the fine if the defendant wanted to take traffic school. You just have to see what's offered and decide what's best. You would also need to do this process if you wanted a payment plan. So basically, if you are complaining about the cost you really need to take the time to do this. None of the other stuff you brought up is relevant to getting the ticket reduced. It's either a valid ticket or it isn't. An error small in magnitude won't negate anything.
  8. #8
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cali408nia View Post
    Here's what you may be able to do, as I recently went through a traffic ticket in CA in which I got the fine lowered.

    Wait for the letter in the mail which states your bail amount (or in other words, the amount of the fines) and pay attention to the due date. The letter will probably give you options, like pay the fine by mail, pay in person, or request an appearance. The only way you will get the fine lowered is to appear in traffic court. This means going down to the courthouse before the due date on the letter and asking to appear for arraignment, and scheduling a date 2 or 3 weeks in advance to come to court.

    As they say, come to court dressed nicely and ON TIME. Appearing in court 15 or 20 mins late could cost you your whole effort, because they will not let you make a plea without listening to a statement of your rights that the judge gives at the beginning of court. You're going to plead guilty, because I'm 98% sure the driver is guilty of the violation because 98% of stops in our state are not complete stops, aka California stops. Now, this infraction carries 1 point on your DMV record. So traffic school may or may not be something to look into. On the plus, traffic school will mask that point. On the minus, it will cost $30 to take traffic school. Insurance increase costs vs traffic school costs should be analyzed. This is all assuming you are eligible for traffic school (cant take it more than once every 18 months).

    Anyways, the judge may lower the fine for appearing and taking the matter seriously and admitting fault. They don't have to do that but a number of them will. I really can't estimate your chances because things vary by county and by judge, and I've only made 1 appearance in traffic court. He was really nice, and the only people he didn't lower the fines for were people that acted like idiots and wanted to argue circumstances and facts or people that had really bad driving records in the past. He lowered my fine by 30-35%, which I said "OK!"

    That's how you go about it, but there's no guarantee. I can't recall, but I think in some instances the judge couldn't lower the fine if the defendant wanted to take traffic school. You just have to see what's offered and decide what's best. You would also need to do this process if you wanted a payment plan. So basically, if you are complaining about the cost you really need to take the time to do this. None of the other stuff you brought up is relevant to getting the ticket reduced. It's either a valid ticket or it isn't. An error small in magnitude won't negate anything.


    The OP can't do anything at all

    Not one single thing.
  9. #9
    Cali408nia is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    The OP can't do anything at all

    Not one single thing.
    S/he can go with his Mom and be supportive, then she can thank him for knowing how to use the interwebz so well.
  10. #10
    mysti9uemirage is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Cali408nia View Post
    Here's what you may be able to do, as I recently went through a traffic ticket in CA in which I got the fine lowered.

    Wait for the letter in the mail which states your bail amount (or in other words, the amount of the fines) and pay attention to the due date. The letter will probably give you options, like pay the fine by mail, pay in person, or request an appearance. The only way you will get the fine lowered is to appear in traffic court. This means going down to the courthouse before the due date on the letter and asking to appear for arraignment, and scheduling a date 2 or 3 weeks in advance to come to court.

    As they say, come to court dressed nicely and ON TIME. Appearing in court 15 or 20 mins late could cost you your whole effort, because they will not let you make a plea without listening to a statement of your rights that the judge gives at the beginning of court. You're going to plead guilty, because I'm 98% sure the driver is guilty of the violation because 98% of stops in our state are not complete stops, aka California stops. Now, this infraction carries 1 point on your DMV record. So traffic school may or may not be something to look into. On the plus, traffic school will mask that point. On the minus, it will cost $30 to take traffic school. Insurance increase costs vs traffic school costs should be analyzed. This is all assuming you are eligible for traffic school (cant take it more than once every 18 months).

    Anyways, the judge may lower the fine for appearing and taking the matter seriously and admitting fault. They don't have to do that but a number of them will. I really can't estimate your chances because things vary by county and by judge, and I've only made 1 appearance in traffic court. He was really nice, and the only people he didn't lower the fines for were people that acted like idiots and wanted to argue circumstances and facts or people that had really bad driving records in the past. He lowered my fine by 30-35%, which I said "OK!"

    That's how you go about it, but there's no guarantee. I can't recall, but I think in some instances the judge couldn't lower the fine if the defendant wanted to take traffic school. You just have to see what's offered and decide what's best. You would also need to do this process if you wanted a payment plan. So basically, if you are complaining about the cost you really need to take the time to do this. None of the other stuff you brought up is relevant to getting the ticket reduced. It's either a valid ticket or it isn't. An error small in magnitude won't negate anything.
    Thank you for this feedback. I wanted to get a professional opinion, but yours helped a lot too, due your experience. I'll ask my mom to try it out. We really wanted to reduce the fine but didn't want to take the time to go to court appearance if it won't help, as it takes away her work time. $452 is basically 1/2 of her monthly pay so with your response, it seems like a glimpse of hope. The payment plan option was something we definitely did not think about - I really appreciate you bringing this up, just in case the judge doesn't want to reduce the fine. So, I shouldn't bring up the police officer's clerical error or neglect to write the time correctly, right? From a lot of what's written, it seems like it's irrelevant, or won't help the fine at all.

    Thank you for taking the time, once again. I really appreciate it.
  11. #11
    Cali408nia is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysti9uemirage View Post
    Thank you for this feedback. I wanted to get a professional opinion, but yours helped a lot too, due your experience. I'll ask my mom to try it out. We really wanted to reduce the fine but didn't want to take the time to go to court appearance if it won't help, as it takes away her work time. $452 is basically 1/2 of her monthly pay so with your response, it seems like a glimpse of hope. The payment plan option was something we definitely did not think about - I really appreciate you bringing this up, just in case the judge doesn't want to reduce the fine. So, I shouldn't bring up the police officer's clerical error or neglect to write the time correctly, right? From a lot of what's written, it seems like it's irrelevant, or won't help the fine at all.

    Thank you for taking the time, once again. I really appreciate it.
    You shouldn't bring up those things unless you are going to take the matter to trial. When you first go to traffic court to see a clerk, you can either pay the ticket right there on the spot in the full amount with no payment plan, or ask to be arraigned. But the clerk can't do anything about an error, she will tell you that you need to see a judge. And you do need to see the judge if you want to do anything but pay the ticket in full before the due date on the ticket or letter. When you get before a judge, you will be in a court room with 50+ other people who have committed traffic infractions. The judge is there to take your plea. Guilty, not guilty, or no contest. He is not there to listen to circumstances, complaints, errors, etc. He can't do anything about it at that time, it's not the proper venue. If you want to fight the ticket you need to plead not guilty and go to a trial. You won't get the ticket reduced for there being a couple of minor errors. The ticket will either be thrown out because you have proven it wasn't deserved (very hard to do if the officer shows up and says he saw your Mom not come to a stop at a stop sign) or it will be upheld. Which brings us back to: the ticket can be reduced in some cases by appearing in court, but it won't have anything to do with a small error.

    The price you say that ticket costs does sound a tad bit high. So maybe there's a good chance the judge could lower it. It really only takes 3 hours of your time to go down to the court one day, and then come back another day for the arraignment. The court should give you several options of when you can come in for arraignment, based on when their schedule is open. In my case, I was able to do night court because my county still has the funds to do it. This was helpful for me because I work in the day.
  12. #12
    mysti9uemirage is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cali408nia View Post
    You shouldn't bring up those things unless you are going to take the matter to trial. When you first go to traffic court to see a clerk, you can either pay the ticket right there on the spot in the full amount with no payment plan, or ask to be arraigned. But the clerk can't do anything about an error, she will tell you that you need to see a judge. And you do need to see the judge if you want to do anything but pay the ticket in full before the due date on the ticket or letter. When you get before a judge, you will be in a court room with 50+ other people who have committed traffic infractions. The judge is there to take your plea. Guilty, not guilty, or no contest. He is not there to listen to circumstances, complaints, errors, etc. He can't do anything about it at that time, it's not the proper venue. If you want to fight the ticket you need to plead not guilty and go to a trial. You won't get the ticket reduced for there being a couple of minor errors. The ticket will either be thrown out because you have proven it wasn't deserved (very hard to do if the officer shows up and says he saw your Mom not come to a stop at a stop sign) or it will be upheld. Which brings us back to: the ticket can be reduced in some cases by appearing in court, but it won't have anything to do with a small error.

    The price you say that ticket costs does sound a tad bit high. So maybe there's a good chance the judge could lower it. It really only takes 3 hours of your time to go down to the court one day, and then come back another day for the arraignment. The court should give you several options of when you can come in for arraignment, based on when their schedule is open. In my case, I was able to do night court because my county still has the funds to do it. This was helpful for me because I work in the day.
    Yes, we don't want to fight the ticket. Everything you've written makes a lot of sense. I'm definitely going to ask my mom to do what you've written. Thank you so much!
  13. #13
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cali408nia View Post
    ... 98% of stops in our state are not complete stops...
    This would be 100% false. 100% of the stops in our state are complete stops. A "California stop" is NOT a stop

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