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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 116711
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years of law and traffic law
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My son got a speeding ticket in 12/14. He was 16 years old

Customer Question

My son got a speeding ticket in 12/14. He was 16 years old at the time. His girlfriend paid the fine for him and we thought it was a done deal. Today we received a letter that he was "non-compliant" because he didn't go to traffic school and now he has to go to court. Upon questioning my son, he stated that he received an email from the clerk which he thought was an application for traffic school. After reading through it, I realized that it was a plea in abeyance. I was never notified of this and I want to know how can they send a legal document to a 16 year old without ever notifying the parents/guardians? Is this legal?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, when a minor gets a license, the DMV does not have the parent's name as someone to serve, they have the name of the licensee who by signing for their license agrees to obey all laws and requirements and responsibilities of having a license. Thus, when the license holder, even a minor, has a violation, it is solely the license holder that gets notice, not their parents. So the notice to your son was legal I am afraid.
Now, you can go to court with your son and argue that he should not have his license suspended or have any additional penalties other than being granted more time to attend the driving school and you would argue that because he was a novice driver he did not understand the nature of the matter and should be given a break as to fines or suspension for not completing the traffic school. Most every judge I have seen will give him one chance and an extension of time to go to the school and if he does they will accept that.
This is really the only option you have with this, since the clerk is liable only to notify the license holder.