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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 37864
Experience:  retired (mostly)
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I my county when you are issued a driving citation, you must

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I my county when you are issued a driving citation, you must first pay the fine (bail) before you are allowed to see the judge. If you are found innocent, the court is allowed 180 days to refund your fine. You can only declare you innocence by writing. If you declare your innocence by writing you get an automated reponse lowering you bail amountand advising you of a payoff date. You are required to pay this amount to see a judge or your bail is considered deliquent and is forwarded to an outside collection agency (which is located 3 hours away by car). You are no longer priveledged to seek fair judgement from a court appointed official once you bail reaches a deliquent status. The whole process is very difficult. The whole system is automated, and seems to be designed to increase the chance of missing a date so that your case cannot be heard by a judge. As a citizen, I am very frusterated and would like to know if there are any legal resources for me? I refuse to pay a fine for a driving infraction I did not commit. I feel as though I should have the right to plead my case to a court appointed official and be found guilty before I am ordered to pay the fine. This cannot be legal; Is it?
We are going to place in the traffic law section to find an attorney in your area.

The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Art. 1, Sec 12(c) of the California Constitution, each provides that excessive bail shall not be required. Although drivers rarely do so, they have a constitutional right to appear in court and ask for a bail hearing. Assuming that you can convince the court that the bail is excessive, the court would be required to reduce or eliminate that bail.

I admit that I have never known of anyone to actually request reduced bail from the court for an ordinary traffic citation, but it's legal to do so, should you desire to try.

So, the answer here is, "yes," it's legal to require bail in the amount of the citation -- but, it's also legal to request a hearing and ask for a bail reduction or elimination.

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 37864
Experience: retired (mostly)
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