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Was cited for an infraction of Cal Vehicle Code 5201.1(a).

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Was cited for an infraction of Cal Vehicle Code 5201.1(a). I had covers over the license plates on my car. Officer cited driver (my daughter) and not the car or owner. Marked the ticket correctable. Corrected the problem (removed the covers) and had it signed off by the CHP.

Then received bail notice in the mail $1,104 ($250 base fine). Checked out the infraction code number and it was selling a product or device that obscures, or is intended to obscure, the reading by an electronic device - etc. In my opinion cititation should have been written to the owner of the car as a violation of section 5201 (b) which would in fact be correctable. Calls to the court were met with "sounds like you are right but we do not know what you can do"

I now have, in my opinion, a cititation written around the wrong code and a pending $1,104 fine . Am I in a box?

LADYLAWYER : You always have the option to plead not guilty and challenge the ticket. If you plead “not guilty” the judicial officer will assign you a trial date and may also request that you pay the fine (referred to as bail). If you are found not guilty, the money will be returned to you.
LADYLAWYER : Your interpretation of the Code is correct but it will be up to the judicial officer to change the ticket, and this, the fine.

I could have come up with your opinion and I would not have needed you. I have done some further checking and the more I check the more I get upset. The court clerk has now told me that the citiation is written to my daughter (had borrowed the car) and not to me as the owner of the car as it should have been. The clerk stated that my daughter must appear in court if we want to contest the the ticket or that we must pay the fine and send in a leter of explaination and hope some judge will reverse the ticket. The fact that my daughter lives some 600 miles from the court and it would add some $500 to the cost of the ticket to have her appear at the court further makes this a travesty.


There must be some mechanasim to correct the writting of the ticket and not be at the mercey of a CHP officer who did not write the ticket as he was taught. I do not think it is fair to have to pay out some $1700 for a gross mistake.


I don't know why customers come here, ask a question and then state what you stated. If you already knew something about your situation on how to go about fixing it and wanted to know something different to do (if there IS anything different to do) then you need to tell me that at the outset. I cannot read your mind and I do not know what you know.


I understand you are frustrated, but I am here to help--and at a tiny fraction of what I charge clients that come into my office--so please, just be patient and we can work on this together. Yes, the ticket was written for your daughter as the driver and not you as the owner. She had constructive possession of your car, you were not there, and that is why she got the ticket. Had you been there, you probably would have gotten it. As the clerk told you, you cannot go to court in place of your daughter. But an attorney can. You should be able to pay an attorney much less than the cost of the ticket to challenge it on your daughter's behalf. She will not have to be there to do this if an attorney is representing her. If you haven't already done so, you should try contacting the CHP officer directly to see if he would be willing to amend the ticket. If he is not willing to do so, speak to his supervisor. If you get no where with this route, your ONLY other options are 1) to pay the ticket, 2) to not pay the ticket and let your daughter's license get suspended, or 3) to contest the ticket. As previously discussed, if you choose to contest the ticket, you will need to hire an attorney on behalf of your daughter to go to court if she does not live there and cannot get there to do it herself.


I don't know where you are in CA, but if you're anywhere near this company, you should check them out: If the CHP will not file an amended ticket and you have to hire an attorney, then their services start at $199. They have a very high success rate and I think could be of help to you.


Please, if you need anything else, or have further questions or need additional clarification, just let me know. As I said before, I am happy to keep helping you on this for as long as you need it. I do feel for you and your situation and I wish there was an easy, free checks and balances system that the law had in place to make sure officers were writing the correct tickets for things, but there just isn't. Your remedy here is to see if the officer will amend his own ticket, talk to his supervisor if he refuses, and then if you still don't get anywhere, hire an attorney on your daughter's behalf to challenge the ticket in court. The attorney may be able to get the clerk to waive you having to pay the cost of the ticket up front, just to be able to challenge it. You will have to consult with them on that.

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