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I was cited for driving 49 mph in a 35 mph zone. I haven't…

Customer Question
I was cited for...

I was cited for driving 49 mph in a 35 mph zone. I haven't rec'd a traffic citation in over 30 years..If I contest this in court with an attorney and fail to win the case, will I lose the OPTION to attend TRAFFIC VIOLATORS SCHOOL and subsequently have my record cleared?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Sonoma County, Calif.

Lawyer's Assistant: Do you need to appear in court?

If I pay the bail and traffic school fee by mail or internet, L am not required to attend court.

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/19/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8,359
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a CA licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Thank you so much for your patience. Generally, if you plead not guilty to a traffic citation in California, then you go to trial and lose, then the judge might give you the option of attending a traffic school in the end. However, it depends on the severity of the crime and it is entirely the judge's discretion. You could always be found not guilty of course and have the entire ticket dismissed. What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
REGARDING SEVERITY OF CRIME I was originally driving 49 mph in a 40 mph zone. (Most cops don't pull you over unless you are doing 10 mph or more over the speed limit.) I missed seeing the FIRST sign that reduced the speed limit to 35 mph; It turns out I drove 49 mph in a 35 mph zone for only a few hundred yards prior to the cop initiating the vehicle stop. When the cop turned on the lights and siren I pulled over immediately and safely (literally within less than 10 seconds) into a parking lot. I was entirely polite and cordial throughout the vehicle stop. The cop didn't ask any questions about the circumstances of my speed and I offered no excuses. The cop was polite and professional, issued the citation and released me without delay. My only complaint is that pulling a vehicle over within yards of a reduction of the speed limit appears suspiciously like an UNETHICAL SPEED TRAP. REGARDING THE JUDGE'S DISCRETION: I telephoned the court this morning and asked "if I contest the ticket in court with the representation of an attorney and fail to win my case, will I lose the option to clear the record with traffic violators school?" I was told unequivocally that I would still retain the option to clear the record by attending traffic school. POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL STRATEGY: Take advantage of opportunities to postpone previously scheduled court dates. Schedule the first court date ASAP (before Thanksgiving if possible) then ,at the last minute, cancel and reschedule before beginning of December. Next cancel this court date, again at last minute,and reschedule as close as possible before December 25. Possibly the cop will become increasingly frustrated with this series of cancellations in my case and he won't want to attend court near Xmas. I will attend the court on the date near Xmas WITHOUT MY ATTORNY. If the cop does not show up for court, I'll request dismissal. If the cop shows up for court, I'll explain that my attorney was unable to attend and. request another postponement. IF I HAVE YOUR FIRM REPRESENT MY CASE IN TRAFFIC COURT, WHAT IS THE COST?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Thanks for your response to this. If no one was hurt, if you weren't drunk, and you didn't injure any property, then you likely will be given the option of traffic school if you decide to fight it and lose. As far as your strategy, I would be careful about using the court's time like this. Generally, if you reschedule, you have to have good cause. So, you may need to to have declarations or other evidence to help support your case. If you're not prepared for a denial, then it'll hurt your case. Otherwise, you can certainly try it. Unfortunately, my plate is a bit full so I won't be able to help you. However, there are some other options.

One of the hardest things to do sometimes is find a lawyer that you can trust. Google searches are a good place to start, but usually the lawyers who pay the most can get bumped up to be on the first page regardless of their quality. One thing I recommend is going through your state’s lawyer referral service (LRS). The LRS in each state typically requires the attorney to have several years of practice, be free of discipline, and have adequate staffing to assist people. Here is the link for the California LRS - click here.

What other questions did you have for me?

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