For all violations, your court date, time, and place are on the front of the notice to appear. Have the citation with you when contacting the court. In all infraction cases, you must do one or more of the following for each violation:
- Appear in court
- Correct the violation
- Correct the violation (traffic cases, when applicable)
- Pay the fine (bail)
- Request traffic school (traffic cases, when applicable)
- Request trial by written declaration (traffic cases)
Failure to Appear
If you do not properly handle your citation, then a “failure to appear” charge will be filed against you, per California Vehicle Code 40508(a), and your driver's license may be withheld, suspended, or revoked. In some courts you may be charged an amount in addition to the bail and the case may be turned over to a collection agency, per California Penal Code 1214.1.
Contest the Violation
If you contest the violation, you may do so by one of the following options:
- Court trial - Send a certified or registered letter postmarked no later than five days prior to the appearance date or come to the court by the appearance date to request a court trial on a future date when an officer and any witnesses will be present. You will be required to submit the bail amount.
- Trial by written declaration (traffic cases) - Send a certified or registered letter postmarked no later than five days prior to the appearance date or come to the court by the appearance date to request a trial by written declaration. Submit the bail amount. You will be given forms to allow you to write a statement and to submit other evidence without appearing in court. The officer will also submit a statement. The judicial officer will consider the evidence and render a verdict.