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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 9090
Experience:  Since 1983
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I got a traffic violation. Cell phone VC23123. I missed the

Customer Question

I got a traffic violation. Cell phone VC23123. I missed the court date and scheduled a court date tomorrow. I received a notification with the1214.1 and a civil assessment fine of $300. I immediately paid the full bail amount of $833.00. I cannot pull
up the citation any more on the website and when I call the traffic payment number, it says that I had a citation was issued but the bail has been paid in full. Do I still need to go to court? I believe the citation is closed.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long does it take for a response? I am paying more because I said it was urgent.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to hear this.
23123. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a
wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and
configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in
that manner while driving.
(b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a
base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty
dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.
(c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless
telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an
emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider,
fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.
(d) This section does not apply to an emergency services
professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized
emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and
scope of his or her duties.
(e) This section does not apply to a person driving a schoolbus or
transit vehicle that is subject to Section 23125.
(f) This section does not apply to a person while driving a motor
vehicle on private property.
(g) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2011.
The answer is Yes, you have to go to court even if you want to plead guilty.
If you have a scheduled court date and fail to appear, you will forfeit the bail money, and the judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest and the failure to appear becomes a new charge with another penalty.
I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought that if the case is closed, you did not have to go to court. I already plead guilty to the offense. I paid the bail after I scheduled a court date. i paid the bail over the phone.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information,
I did not know that you had already pled guilty.
I still think it would be prudent to phone the Clerk of the court and ask if you still have to appear.
The California courts, or at least some of them, are frankly a mess. Sometimes the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and sometimes the judge does not know information that the clerk knows. I have seen bench warrants that were issued by mistake in the past, so to play it safe, please call the clerk of the court and ask if you have to appear or if the hearing was taken off calendar after the bail was paid.
Based on the amount of the fine stated in the statute, I think you still have to go to court and get a refund between what you paid as bail and the actual fines and assessments.
If you need the phone number of the Clerk, please tell me the name of the court and I will find the clerk's phone number.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I went to court and I asked them if I could get a refund. They said no because by paying the bail, i pled guilty. I just was not sure if I have to go to court. The letter said that if I pay the bail within 10 days after receipt of the letter, I could get a refund of $300. I was charged the full amount.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
If you have a court date, you have to go to court. The clerk can tell you if you have a court date or not.
The clerk may have been misinformed,and my opinion is that you are entitled to a partial refund, and if you have a court date, that would be the time to call that to the attention of the judge.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will go to court tomorrow to be on the safe side.
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
That is the right thing to do.
My job here often requires me to tell people answers they do not like, and I am sorry for that, but I cannot give you any answer other than what I've already stated: If you have a court date, please be there on time or preferably a little early and dressed respectfully. You can then say something like, Your Honor, the statute says the fine is $20 and even with the penalty assessment, I believe that I am entitled to a $513.00 refund of the bail.
I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The letter clearly states that you do not have to court if I pay the full bail amount.. I scheduled the court date the day before I received the letter. My citation cannot even be found on the court website. My scheduled court date appeared on the website until I paid the full bail amount.,
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 1 year ago.
You wrote:
The letter said that if I pay the bail within 10 days after receipt of the letter, I could get a refund of $300.
Did you go to court today?

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