Traffic School Terms

• APPEAL

The act of removing a case to a superior Court to evaluate and potential revision of the inferior Court’s judicial act.

• BAIL

The surety or sureties who procure the release of a person under detain; by becoming accountable for his appearance at the time and place selected. Those persons who become sureties for the appearance of the defendant in Court. (verb) To free a person arrested or imprisoned, on security being taken for his appearance on a day and a place certain before the Court, which security is called “bail”; to deliver the defendant to persons who become security for his appearance in Court.

• BAIL AMOUNT

Amount of fines and/or fees that must be paid for the traffic violation or traffic ticket. As required by the court, when using a Trial by Written Declaration, you must pay your bail (the fine of your ticket) up-front when processing your paperwork. When you mail your documents include a check payable to Superior Court for your bail amount. If you do not know the bail amount or if you have not received your courtesy notice from the court, call the court to get the bail amount for your citation. Will you get your bail back if found “not guilty”? Yes. If you are found “not guilty,” the court will return the bail to the person that paid it within 60-90 days.

• BAILIFF

A Court ambassador who maintains courtroom order, security and jury supervision. In Traffic Court, this is the officer who will take any credentials needed from you and provide them to the Judge. Under no circumstances should you ever approach the Judge when providing documents or other proof regarding your traffic ticket, traffic violation or traffic infraction.

• CITATION

(a) A form of writ issued by a Court commanding the cite to appear in Court in a specific date and time; (b) A reference to a specific code section or case used in support of a legal argument or opinion; (c) A traffic ticket issued to document alleged violation of a Vehicle Code Section.

• CONTEMPT

A willful disregard of the authority of a Court or judicial or legislative body, or disobedience to its lawful orders.

• DISMISSAL

An order or judgment finally disposing of an action, suit, motion, etc., without a trial of the issues involved.

• DMV

Department of Motor Vehicles

• FAILURE TO APPEAR

If you (1) skip out on your court date, (2) decide not to show up for court, (3) forget to show up for court, or (4) show up on the wrong day, it is considered Failure to Appear on your court date. When you signed your traffic ticket, you made a promise to either go to court or, in some cases, pay the fine. If you do not go to court or pay your fine, your driver’s license can be suspended. In addition, you may not be able to renew your car’s registration. The judge can also charge you with “failure to pay a fine.” If that happens, the court can charge you with a misdemeanor and issue a warrant for your arrest or add an additional fee (called a “civil assessment”) of up to $300.

• POINTS

Points are what show up on your state’s driving record and can cause your license to be revoked or suspended depending on the number you have in a given period of time. If found guilty of your traffic ticket, traffic infraction or traffic violation, after you pay your fine, points may show up on your DMV record unless you can go to traffic school. If the court lets you go to traffic school and you turn in your proof of completion of traffic school to the court before the deadline, the points should not show up on your record. If you get points on your record, your insurance corporation may ask you to pay more for insurance premium because of this, or they may cancel your insurance plan and tell you to find insurance elsewhere. Points can stay on your record for 3 to 7 years.

• SKIPPING OUT ON COURT DATE

If you (1) decide not to show up for court, (2) forget to show up for court, or (3) show up on the wrong day, it is considered skipping out on your court date. When you signed your traffic ticket, you made a promise to either go to court or, in some cases, pay the fine. If you do not go to court or pay your fine, your driver’s license can be suspended. In addition, you may not be able to renew your car’s registration. The judge can also charge you with “contempt of court” or “failure to pay a fine.” If that happens, the court can charge you with a misdemeanor and issue a warrant for your arrest or add an additional fee (called a “civil assessment”) of up to $300.

• TRAFFIC FINES

The fee that the State’s Vehicle Code has established for your specific Traffic violation.

• TRIAL BY WRITTEN DECLARATION

Or TR-205. Vehicle Code Section 40902 allows the defendant (you the cited driver) to contest citations in writing, without having to make a personal appearance in court. A Trial by Written Declaration is available in cases involving infractions of the Vehicle Code or of local ordinances of the Vehicle Code. Violations eligible for a Trial by Written Declaration must be infractions only. Misdemeanors and cases involving accidents are ineligible for a Trial by Written Declaration.

• TRIAL DE NOVO

Or TR-220. Trial De Novo means “all things are new” (Judge, Venue and Evidence) and is in court, in person. Do you need legal representation in court for a Trial De Novo? Once you process the request with the court for a new trial on your own behalf, you will have to make the personal appearance in court yourself. Law firms are available for legal representation in court, but are not mandatory. We are strictly a professional filing agency and not a law firm, so we do not offer representation for you in court.

• VC

Vehicle Code

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