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Old March 7 2013, 10:23 PM   #14
tighr
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Location: California
Re: Traffic Violations & Court Appearance

I agree with everyone else, but I'll answer your question.

I live in Kern County, so this is how it works here (meaning, YMMV in Alameda County):
1) Wait for your ticket in the mail. It will have further instructions (likely everything I'm about to spell out).
2) You go to the Traffic Courthouse (separate from the Superior Court) and wait in line with the Court Clerk for a desk appearance. You get a court date.
3) Return for your court date (yes, it's a different day), in which you sit in a room and watch a bunch of other losers try to plead their case to the judge about why they feel they don't deserve a ticket. When it's your turn, he may ask you some questions about it and just answer honestly. He'll either reduce it or ask you if you did it. By the way, this is just like an arraignment, you're essentially making a plea, not trying your case.
4) If you want to plead not guilty, congratulations! You now have to come back for a third time in front of a different judge and try to prove you're innocent. But you're not, so I would take the deal offered in step 3.

Usually, the judge will be lenient with you just for getting off your ass and actually showing up to court instead of mailing in whatever the citation says. Unless you are disrespectful or obviously not remorseful (some of those people are).

Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
I was stuck on a railroad track. I couldn't back up; there was no space for me to go forward. As luck would have it, there was an Oakland PD patrol car nearby that signaled me to pull over.
I'm curious how you accomplished this feat if you couldn't pull forward or if you couldn't back up.
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