Bail usually refers to the amount of money required to bail someone out of prison. In the case of a traffic ticket in California, the bail amount is the total charge that you will need to pay to avoid going to court. If you choose to pay this amount then the action is referred to as a “bail forfeiture.”
Do note that if you choose to pay the bail amount, then you are missing out on the chance to fight your ticket and potentially avoid the fee completely.
The total amount for the bail will be noted on your courtesy notice. This should be sent out to you a couple of weeks after the traffic violation. Courts are not obligated to send out a courtesy notice and have been known to skip this step. If this does occur, then you will need to contact the relevant court to find the full bail amount.
How Is Bail Different From A Fine?
If you choose not to pay the bail amount then you may be required to appear in court to fight your traffic ticket. If you are found guilty of the traffic violation, then you will be sentenced to pay an amount of money. This amount is referred to as a “fine.”
Is Bail More Or Less Expensive Than A Fine?
Usually, the bail amount will be the same as the fine amount for traffic tickets that are given in California. However, both bails and fines can carry additional penalties and fees. This can differ depending on the county or city.
The minimum and maximum fine for different violations of state law are determined by the California legislature.
There are certain violations that are the subject of local laws and thus have corresponding fines. Fines do tend to have additional penalties that will increase the overall cost. It’s possible that these fines can lead to an increase in cost of more than $45.
What Are The Options To Take Care Of A Traffic Ticket?
There are various options that you can use to take care of a traffic ticket. Your decision will be determined by the action that is going to be suitable for you.
You can choose to pay the bail. Do note that bail in California can be expensive. Indeed, the fines and bail for California traffic tickets are some of the most expensive compared to other states. The benefit of opting for this choice is that the traffic violation case will be closed. You will not have to worry about making an appearance in court.
There are also various options for paying the bail. For instance, you can pay the cost online or over the phone. You can even head to the court to pay the cost in person. Even if you pay the bail, you could still have the option of attending traffic school. This will depend on whether or not the traffic school eligibility requirements have been met in your specific case.
Alternatively, you may choose to appear in court. This option will allow you to fight your traffic ticket and hopefully avoid an expensive fine. If you decide to go to court, then you will need to choose a reserve date and stand in front of a judge. You will need to make sure that you gather the relevant evidence so that you can plead not guilty.
Do be aware that there are certain traffic violations that have a mandatory court appearance. Your courtesy notice will include information about whether or not your court appearance is mandatory and what action you should take.
If your court appearance is not mandatory then you can also contest the ticket with a trial by written declaration. In this case, you will write to the court asking them to consider your case. You will need to include all the details of the incident and state that your account of the incident is honest and true. In some cases, you might also include a declaration of witnesses that saw the incident.
Do note that a trial by written declaration does not impact your chances of being found not guilty. Even if you are found guilty in a case like this, you can arrange for a second court hearing where you will have another chance to argue your case. As such, you will have nothing to lose with this option. Instead, it gives you two chances to avoid the cost of an expensive bail amount or fine.
What Types of Tickets Do We Help With?
GetDismissed produces results in fighting all kinds of tickets. Unfortunately, this list does not include exhibition of speed citations. Your best bet in fighting one of these infractions, is to contact an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to try and reduce fines, or even to reduce the charges to a lesser infraction which could possibly qualify for traffic school.
We do however, contest infractions revolving around speeding, red lights, red light cameras, cell phones, signs (primarily stop signs), carpool violations, U-turns, out of lane violations, and commercial violations. If you receive a citation and have questions, contact us today.