Articles Posted in Traffic Tickets

Based on: San Francisco Chronicle, “A woman is suing S.F. for $50 million over a parking ticket, saying tire chalk is unconstitutional,” Rachel Swan, Sep. 11, 2021

ALISON PATRICIA TAYLOR, Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, v. CITY OF SAGINAW, MICHIGAN; TABITHA HOSKINS, Defendants-Appellees/Cross-Appellants. (6th Cir., Aug. 25, 2021, No. 20-1538) 2021 WL 3745345

Everyone agrees that driving while distracted is a bad thing. What everyone does not agree on, however, is how best to go about encouraging drivers to put down their cell phones while behind the wheel. Currently, the California legislature is considering a bill that would increase the penalties associated with texting or otherwise using a phone while driving. As California lawmakers explore upping these penalties, it is important to keep in mind just how damaging these infractions can be for you financially. If you find yourself needing to challenge this kind of violation, be sure you have skillful San Francisco traffic ticket and DMV defense counsel on your side.

CBS Sacramento reported that, on May 16, a legislative committee passed Assembly Bill 47. As originally written, the bill would have tacked a point onto the license of any driver ticketed for texting or holding a phone while driving. The bill, however, has already undergone some changes. As currently amended, the bill says that you get a point on your license if your cell phone violation is your second within a 36-month period.

Of course, the option of traffic school may exist for you. If you are eligible for traffic school, then you can use that process to avoid having that point tacked onto your license. For those eligible, this means that you would not have a point added to your license unless you rack up at least three texting-while-driving violations in that 36-month window.

Defendants who plead or are found guilty of traffic violations and other misdemeanors are typically assessed court fees and fines under Gov. Code, § 70373, Pen. Code, § 1465.8, and Pen. Code, § 1202.4, Unpaid fines usually go to collections without further order of the court.

Courts must determine a defendant’s ability to pay fees and assessment.

The Court of Appeal ruled in People v Dueñas (285645) that when poverty is the only reason a defendant cannot pay court fee and fines, using the criminal process to collect them is unconstitutional. Its decision bars courts from imposing court fees and assessments without determining a defendant’s present ability to pay. Despite Pen. Code, § 1202.4, precluding consideration of a defendant’s ability to pay unless the judge is considering increasing the fee over the statutory minimum, the execution of any restitution fine imposed under must be stayed unless and until the trial court holds an ability to pay hearing and concludes that the defendant has the present ability to pay the restitution fine

San Francisco’s Red Light Ticket Cameras, designed to take photos of cars that run a red light have not been operating since January, 2019 as they are undergoing replacement by the SFMTA.

The SFMTA’s Automated Enforcement Program uses a network of automated cameras to enforce illegal red-light running and illegal right turns.

Red-light cameras take automatic snapshots of both the front license plate and the driver’s face when a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has changed.

If you get on the Internet and use any popular search engine, you’ll find many web pages devoted to attempting to answer the question, “How do I get points on my driver’s license removed?” In California, there are some options. If you have been charged with a traffic violation, you should definitely consult a knowledgeable San Francisco traffic ticket defense attorney about your possibilities.

The least proactive way to get points off your license is also one of the slowest methods for achieving results. That option is, simply, waiting. Minor offenses generally are removed from your record after approximately 39 months. More significant offenses, like DUI, can stay on your record for up to 10 years, however.

Another way that you possibly can clear points is by successfully completing traffic school. Successfully completing traffic school does not take a point off your license, exactly; it allows you to avoid ever having that point attached to the license at all. Today, there are various options for completing traffic school. You can do it in person or can complete a program online. It is important to make sure that the program you complete is one that is recognized and approved by California.

Any speeding offense has the potential to inflict a negative impact on your life. However, an offense where you are accused of traveling at 100 mph or greater can have especially bad consequences, from higher fines to a higher number of points on your license to a loss of driving privileges – even if this was your first moving violation. Because these offenses can be particularly harmful, you should take them seriously. Be sure to defend yourself aggressively, starting with retaining the services of an experienced San Francisco speeding defense attorney.

Back in August, the Richmond Standard reported on two drivers whom CHP officers arrested while traveling across eastbound Interstate 580. The drivers, according to police, were weaving in and out of traffic while traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The two drivers were arrested on suspected reckless driving and speeding, according to an ABC 7 News report.

Getting convicted of driving in excess of 100 mph can lead to profoundly serious outcomes. Unlike other speeding offenses, you will be required to make an appearance before a judge Whereas a judge cannot suspend your license for a first-time speeding offense if you were caught going less than 100, a conviction for going 100 mph or more gives the judge the ability to suspend your license for up to 30 days, and that’s if you have no prior offenses. Additionally, the court can fine you up to $500.

News sources recently reported on a “crackdown” on speeding violations in one Bay Area city. The crackdown included catching drivers using state-of-the-art technology for calculating drivers’ speeds. However, even if you’ve been ticketed by an officer equipped with the latest in cutting-edge technology, do not despair. You may still have a very viable opportunity to contest your speeding ticket and do so successfully. To give yourself the best chance possible to avoid the fines, driver’s license point deductions and insurance rate increase that can go with a speeding ticket, contact an experienced San Francisco traffic ticket attorney today.

The news report, which appeared on, discussed a speed enforcement “crackdown” in South San Francisco. On a single August day, police in that city wrote 72 speeding tickets. Police told that the crackdown focused on “streets where speed and other traffic issues have been a recurring problem.”

The crackdown was part a “saturation patrol” that was possible thanks to funding by the state Office of Traffic Safety through the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to the report. In the well-funded crackdown, officers used something called a “lidar” device. Lidar devices use lasers to determine an object’s speed and are touted as being highly accurate. If you are issued a speeding citation, and if the officer who issued the ticket used a lidar device to assess your speed, do you have any chance of success, especially given how accurate lidar is? The answer is “Yes!” Even if you were ticketed by an officer using lidar, there may still be ways to contest your ticket successfully.

Everyone responds to agitation in different ways, and almost anyone experiences some sort of agitation when they’re pulled over by the police for a speeding violation. Some people cry. Some become hostile. Others panic. Still others try to debate their way out of the ticket while sitting on the shoulder of the road. The reality is that the best way to handle your ticket often is simply to sign the citation and then retain knowledgeable San Francisco traffic ticket attorneys to handle your case and get you a favorable outcome.Judges and journalists both love a good story, sometimes. In a recent criminal case decision, a federal appeals judge in Atlanta, while putting the “kibosh” on a novel defense argument, opined that America’s “history contains many…stories of triumph over long odds. This, however, is not one of those.” What the judge was saying was that, while the defense’s argument was creative, the judge wasn’t buying it. Closer to home, the Sacramento Bee reported on another encounter with the legal system that involved a “long shot” argument and an audience that wasn’t buying it.

According to the Bee report, a driver traveling on I-980 in Oakland was pulled over by the CHP for excessive speed. Advised of the speed the officer recorded, the driver contested that he was not going that fast. The officer showed the driver the display of his device, which read “99.” The driver theorized that the device was erroneously providing the officer with the current air temperature. There were two major problems with the driver’s effort to avoid the ticket in this manner. Besides the obvious (officers’ speed detecting devices do not sense, record, or display the temperature), the high that day in Oakland was only 81.

While this driver’s destined-to-fail effort to avoid a ticket may be good for a laugh for the rest of us, there are some things that you should know if you find yourself in a situation like this driver’s situation. While it may be tempting to attempt to argue with a law enforcement officer and try to “discuss” your way out of a speeding ticket, there are more effective methods of achieving success. In fact, sometimes the less you say at the scene, the better off you will be in the long run.

A year ago this month, the governor signed into law Assembly Bill 103, which served to end the state’s practice of suspending drivers’ licenses solely because they had unpaid traffic fines. The new law is a major boost for many California drivers, especially low-income individuals. However, just because you cannot lose your license from not paying a traffic ticket doesn’t mean that a traffic ticket will no longer have any major negative consequences on your personal finances and your life. There are still ways in which unpaid tickets can seriously harm your life. That is why it is important not to ignore your ticket, to take it seriously, and to contact a California traffic ticket attorney to discuss your options.

The new legislation ended the practice of suspending licenses through a procedural means. The law brought a stop to the process of California courts notifying the Department of Motor Vehicles about drivers’ unpaid traffic fines. With that notification process ended, the law also ended the DMV’s requirement to suspend licenses for that reason, according to the Porterville Recorder.

The state ended the practice because it was ineffective and potentially unfair, according to a Los Angeles Times report. The governor stated that the suspensions did not serve their actual purpose (to help the state increase its collection of unpaid traffic fines) and could potentially serve to “send low-income people into a cycle of job losses and more poverty.” An East Bay Express article highlighted the case of one Northern California man who received a traffic ticket but was unable to pay his fine. Since he did not pay, the state suspended his driver’s license. Needing to drive from Richmond to San Leandro for work, the man eventually ended up with four holds on his license and between $5,000 and $6,000 in fines owed.

News reports from the first part of this year highlighted a trend that many in both the legal and civil rights communities believed to be a harmful thing: the significant uptick in federal immigration authorities using courthouses as locations to identify and arrest undocumented immigrants. Whether they are parties to cases or witnesses, undocumented immigrants are often being asked under oath about their immigration status. Fearing that the answers they give could be used against them in deportation proceedings, many are simply avoiding court altogether. According to one Boston Globe report about the nationwide trend, immigrants are violating judges’ orders, violating probation and losing out on mental health services due to fear that their appearance inside the courthouse will end up getting them deported. To give yourself the best chance of protecting your rights, don’t just ignore your traffic ticket or other legal issue, though; contact a knowledgeable California defense attorney instead.

According to some California legislators, this issue of immigration enforcement inside courthouses is causing a wide range of problems in the legal system. Sen. Scott Weiner, one of the sponsors of a new bill, told KCRA 3 that many immigrants “won’t even show up in court for something as simple as a traffic ticket because they’re afraid they may be deported.”

Simply doing nothing in response to a traffic ticket is, of course, generally one of the worst options you can select. As the state’s Judicial Branch web page puts it, if “you ignore (do not respond to) your ticket, your situation will only get worse. Your fine will increase and additional penalties can be added.” Your driver’s license may be suspended. If you no-show on the court date stated on the ticket you signed, you may become guilty of committing an additional crime. Potentially, you can rack up hundreds of dollars of additional fines and even get arrested. Many immigrants are apparently willing to take these risks due to fear of deportation.

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