Traffic citations are infractions. These are not misdemeanor criminal offenses, such as driving under the influence. You cannot be sentenced to jail for an infraction. However, there are still many possible adverse consequences. If you are convicted of a traffic violation you will have to pay a fine. Some offenses carry fines of nearly $1,000. You may also be assessed points on your driving record for moving violations, such as speeding, running a red light, making an unsafe lane change, etc. Some violations result in one point. Other, more serious violations may result in two points. If you receive too many points on your driving record within a certain period of time your driver's license will be suspended by DMV.
Berglund Law Office, P.C.. represents individuals who have received traffic citations and are ordered to appear in traffic court. If you have received a traffic ticket do not simply ignore it and hope that it goes away. If you do not respond by the date written on the ticket, the Court will notify the DMV and your driver's license will be suspended. You will then have an additional charge of "Failure to Appear" added to the ticket. CONTACT our office today if you have received a traffic ticket.
COMMON TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
Law enforcement officers love to issue speeding tickets. The most common Vehicle Code sections used by officers are 22350 and 22349. Section 22349 is known as the "maximum speed law" and prohibits a vehicle from traveling over 65 miles per hour on a freeway. Officers usually use a radar or laser device to capture a drivers speed. They may also "pace" a vehicle using their speedometer.
Section 22350 prohibits a driver from traveling at a "speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property." This section is usually used on city streets (not on a freeway) and is based on the posted speed limit. If officers use a radar or laser device there must be a valid traffic survey which justifies the speed limit.
Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign
If you fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign you can be cited for violating Vehicle Code Section 22450. You can violate this section if you fail to come to a complete stop at 1) a limit line (the white stripe painted halfway across the street from the stop sign); 2) a crosswalk; or 3) the entrance to the intersection (if there is no marked limit line or crosswalk).
Red Light Camera Tickets
While the city of Los Angeles stopped operating red light cameras, they are still in effect in other parts of Los Angeles County, including the cities of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Culver City, to name a few. If your vehicle crosses the limit line or crosswalk after the light turns red, the camera will take a picture of you in your vehicle. You will then receive a photo enforcement citation in the mail. There are special rules that apply in Los Angeles County for red light camera tickets. If you have received one of these tickets it is best to CONTACT a Los Angeles traffic attorney to discuss your options.
You can receive a traffic ticket for not making a proper turning movement. One type of improper turning is failing to stay as close as "practicable" to either the right or left edge of the road when making a right or left turn. An example of a violation would be a driver making a right turn too far away from the curb. This would violated Vehicle Code Section 22100.
Illegal U-turn in Business District
Vehicle Code Section 22101 prohibits illegal U-turns in a business district. This is also considered an "improper turning" offense. A "business district" is defined as any location where over 50% of the property facing the street is used by businesses along 300 feet of the street, or 600 feet if businesses are only on one side. A driver may only make a U-turn at an intersection or where an opening, e.g. a turn lane, has been provided.
Failing to Properly Signal a Turn
Vehicle Code Section 22108 requires a driver to signal continuously for the last 100 feet traveling before making a turn. A driver must give either an electrical or hand turn signal if there is another vehicle nearby that may be affected by the turning movement. This requirement also applies if you are changing lanes if there is anyone behind you in any lane traveling in your direction.
A correctable violation, aka Fix-It ticket, can be dismissed if action is taken on them prior to the court date. For example, citations issued for expired registration or no insurance can be dismissed if the driver can show the court proof that they actually had registration or insurance on the date they received the ticket. A driver that is cited for driving without a valid California driver's license can have that charged dismissed if he/she subsequently obtains a license. Other correctable tickets include equipment violations, such as a broken light or dark window tint, that the vehicle owner can take to a law enforcement inspection office and have signed off to show that the violation no longer exists. Once the proof of correction is provided to the court the violation is dismissed (upon payment of a $25 dismissal fee).
CONTACT A LOS ANGELES TRAFFIC ATTORNEY
If you have received a traffic ticket, CONTACT our office to day to speak with attorney Robert D. Berglund. We handle traffic tickets in all Los Angeles County courts.