Aug. 27, 2014
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Traffic Division & Other Infractions

An infraction is a violation of, or failure to comply with, certain provisions of the vehicle code, local ordinance or other law or statute. An infraction is not punishable by imprisonment; the maximum sentence on most infractions is a $250 fine (plus assessments and fees). You may not be sentenced to alternate jail time on an infraction and cannot have a trial by jury.

Infraction Options

Traffic infractions are enforced by the issuance of traffic tickets ("citations") by law enforcement. It is important to read the information on the front and back of the citation. The front side of the citation provides the following information:

  • Citation number
  • Date and time of the citation
  • Violations for which you were cited
  • Place and time by which you promised to appear

While it is not mandatory that the court send out notification, a courtesy notice is generated and mailed to the address listed on the citation. If your address is different than the one listed on the citation, you should contact the court. This will ensure that you receive a courtesy notice and help avoid paying additional penalties.

If you do not take care of your traffic citation in a timely manner, a hold or suspension will be placed on your driver's license by the Department of Motor Vehicles and a civil assessment of $300.00 will be added to the bail amount currently due.

The court may authorize collection actions on the bail amount and the civil assessment, including wage garnishments, attachments of your bank accounts and personal property, and the filing of liens on your real property.

Paying your fine and Traffic Violator School (TVS)

An option with most citations is to simply pay it and close your case. This is referred to as "forfeiting bail" and is considered a conviction. If the violation is reportable to the DMV, an abstract of conviction will be submitted to the DMV. Most moving violations, such as speeding tickets will stay on your driving record for 3 years and are 1 point.

If you are unable to pay the entire fine prior to the appearance date you may request to pay in monthly installments. There is an administrative fee of thirty dollars ($30) added to the total bail amount indicated on the courtesy notice for this payment plan. If you elect to pay your fine in monthly installments you must contact the clerk. The clerk will mail you an Agreement to Pay and Forfeit Bail in Installments. You must return the agreement with at least 10% of the total bail by the due date. Your monthly payment thereafter will be the greater of $50 or 1/12th of the balance of the total bail plus a thirty dollar ($30) administrative fee minus the initial payment. If you cannot pay your fine by your appearance date or pay 10% of the fine plus the minimum monthly payment required you must contact the court clerk to be placed on the traffic infraction arraignment calendar (a Monday at 9:00 a.m.) to request a payment schedule.

You may forfeit bail by mail, by phone, or online. Please make all checks payable to: Calaveras Superior Court.

Be sure to include your docket number in all correspondence with the court.

Mandatory Appearance: Some infraction citations require a mandatory appearance. Mandatory appearances include: "zero-tolerance" citations, county code ordinances involving damage to persons or property.

Traffic Violator School
  • If you would like to request Traffic Violator School via online or phone payment, please contact the clerk at (209) 754-9800 prior to submitting payment.

In accordance with California Rules of Court §4.104, you may be eligible to have a vehicle code infraction violation reported to DMV as a confidential conviction by attending traffic school if all of the following apply:

  1. You do not hold a Class A, Class B drivers license and/or you were not driving a commercial motor vehicle (as defined in VC15210(b)) at the time of the offense;
  2. You have not attended traffic school within the past 18 months from violation date to violation date;
  3. You did not exceed the speed limit by more than 25 miles per hour;
  4. The charge does not involve alcohol or drugs;
  5. The charge carries a negligent operator point count of 1.

The courtesy notice sent by the court will indicate whether you are eligible to attend traffic school. If you are eligible and wish to attend traffic violator school, sign the bottom of the courtesy notice and check the appropriate box indicating that you wish to attend traffic violator school, enclose the higher bail amount (the amount indicted by "w/TVS"), and mail it to the court.

The Court will then continue your case 90 days, mail you a referral to attend traffic school, and direct you to complete traffic school by a specified date. You may attend any traffic school approved by the California DMV. You may view the list of DMV approved traffic violator schools online.  The school you select will charge an additional fee. If you complete traffic school and pay the Traffic School Fee within the time allowed by the court, your citation will be reported to DMV as a confidential conviction. With the exception of a court, the DMV will not disclose a confidential conviction to any third-party, including your insurance company.  No violation point count will be assessed if the conviction is confidential.

If you are eligible, but do not attend traffic school your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.

Approved traffic schools recognized by DMV  
This link will take you to the “Occupational License Status Information System” webpage > click on ‘Start Search’> then ‘Access the system’> then select ,‘Traffic Violator School Provider’ >Select ‘Go to Step 1’,> select Traffic School of interest> ‘Classroom Course, Home Study Course, or Internet Course’.> Follow the directions to locate a Traffic School.

Clerk Granted Extensions

Generally, the clerks may grant you a one time extension of your unresolved infraction at your request. You may contact the court at (209) 754-9800 for more information. If you have been granted an extension and still need more time, you must contact the court at (209) 754-9800 on or before your extended appearance date to be placed on the infraction calendar.

Note: Cases that have been referred to collections are not eligible to be calendared unless a formal motion has been filed.

Correctable Citations

Proof of correction can be obtained by having an authorized representative of a law enforcement agency fill out the Certificate of Correction located on the reverse side of your citation. A Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) clerk may certify registration and/or driver's license violations. Your courtesy notice will contain the correct amount of money you must pay along with your proof of correction.

Contesting your citation

You may contest your infraction citation by Court Trial or Trial by Written Declaration (vehicle code infractions only). You are not eligible for a jury trial (PC §19.6) or court appointed representation on infractions. To contest a citation you may appear on your arraignment date or you may post bail and request a court trial or trial by written declaration.

If you wish to post bail, submit your bail and indicate in writing your intent to receive a court trial or trail by written declaration for your matter. You may post bail online or by phone. You must contact the court at (209) 754-9800 prior to posting bail online or by phone.

Court Trial

A court trial is a trial before a judge where you appear in person to contest the validity of the charges filed against you. The officer who issued the citation will be subpoenaed to appear. Other witnesses may be subpoenaed to testify and you may subpoena witnesses to appear on your behalf. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will issue a ruling. If you are dissatisfied with the ruling you may appeal the decision. You have the right to retain an attorney for these proceedings.

Court Trial by Written Declaration

A trial by written declaration is a procedure where you submit the defense to your citation in writing. The officer who issued the citation will be asked to submit their written declaration. A judge will review both declarations and issue a ruling.

A few things to know about a trial by written declaration
  • You must post bail. In the event you prevail, you will receive a refund by mail within a few weeks after the trial.
  • You waive your rights to appear, to testify in person, and to subpoena witnesses.
  • If you are dissatisfied with the result of the trial, you may request a new court trial (trial de novo)
  • The California Judicial Council provides instructions for defendants wishing to contest a citation in writing:
    • TR200-Instructions for Defendant
    • TR205-Request for Trial by Written Declaration

Failure to Appear (FTA), Failure to Pay (FTP), Collections & DMV Hold Information

If you do not take care of your traffic citation in a timely manner, you may be convicted of the citation (pursuant to CVC §40903), a hold will be placed on your driver's license by the Department of Motor Vehicles and a civil assessment of $300.00 added to the amount currently due.

In addition to the hold on your license, the court may authorize collection actions on the amount due including, referral to a collection agency, CA Franchise Tax Board, wage garnishments, attachments of your bank accounts and personal property, and the filing of liens on your real property.

Collections cases are divided into two categories: Failure to Appear and Failure to Pay

FTA (Failure to Appear)

In most infraction cases, you may pay your bail and clear the FTA.

If you have a FTA from this court, you may appear on that citation to clear the FTA. If a warrant for your arrest was issued, you must appear at the clerks window prior to noon Monday-Friday and file a Request for Immediate Hearing in order to address the warrant. Your case will be heard the same day at 1:30 pm.

If a hold was placed on your license for failure to appear and there is no warrant, contact the court for information on how to appear. Infraction FTA's are heard on Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on our infraction calendar. You must contact the court to be placed on the infraction calendar.

FTP (Failure to Pay)

If you fail to pay a matter after conviction, you are not eligible to appear in court.

You will need to resolve the citation by payment in full before the court will release your license, wage garnishment, or lien.

Phone Numbers:

Court collection representative: (209) 754-5970.
GC Services (collection agency): (800) 333-8395.
Franchise Tax Board: (916) 845-4064.

© 2014 Superior Court Calaveras County