Red Light Ticket, Trial By Declaration and Bail Money
Thread started by GodLovesUgly
at 04.24.09 - 11:33 am
I'd like to shine some positivity in these times of turmoil and aggravation.
I rec'd a red light ticket back in Oct. 2008 and was following the online thread which shows you how to fight these mean and expensive little sons of bitches. I requested an extension and rec'd 60 days to pay the fine. Time came and went and I completely forgot and would have still been unable to pay the hefty $381 + some change fine and consequently got a notice in the mail stating that a $300 fine had just been tacked on as bail to the original balance. I scheduled my court appt. as soon as my job would permit (I needed a weeks notice to get the day off) and went to face the judge. When I got there I explained to the judge what had happened and she refused to remove the bail... advising me that I needed to pay it either that same day or within a week's amount of time, but that she would lower it to $201.00. I also mentioned to her that I wanted to file a Trial by Declaration to which she responded back with some law jargon I couldnt comprehend and that was that. I said thank you and walked over to the clerks office through the door.
I made payment arrangements and sure enough within the week's time I paid the $201.00... got a receipt and got a date as well (for my trial?)This is where it gets tricky.
Today, one of the court clerks advised me that the date was just the date that my paperwork was supposed to go to trial, that I didn't have to physically be there. Another clerk had a completely different story: I needed to be there to go before the judge and blah blah blah.
I wasn't getting anywhere.
So I'm reading the paperwork and on the back it has some FAQ. It's entitled:
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET TO COURT?
the court bailiff or clerk will give some preliminary instructions and then check in those people appearing in court.
the cases will be called by a judge or court commission how has, pursuatn blah blah blah.
WHAT IF I AM FOUND NOT GUILTY?
your baill deposit will be returned to you within 6-8 weeks (jesus h christ...that's 2 months!). Immediately after the trial, check with the clerk or bailiff to verify your address.
WHAT IF I AM FOUND GUILTY?
in most cases, the sentence imposed will be a fine not exceeding the amount of baill you have on deposit, In some cases, the judge will find a defendant guilty but suspend the fine. This means that your bail money will be returned, but a conviction will still show on your driving record.
WHAT IF I DO NOT APPEAR AT THE TRIAL TIME?
your bail will be forfeited, and a conviction will show on your driving record as though you had paid the ticket.
I spoke to the cashier, after about an hour and half of waiting in line sandwiched between a really smelly person and this overbearing humongaloid who wouldnt give me even a foot of space, and made sure I understood correctly that by me not deciding to appear in court... it meant my bail money had been forfeited and used to pay the fine. YES!!
This whole time I thought my fines would reach the exorbitant amounts of $400 + $300 bail fine (for not paying on time) and end result was just $201.
I just thought I'd share.
Now let's ride down to the LAPD precinct responsible for these idiot cops and their crooked tongues.
seems like you got lucky with a nice hearted judge to lower the bail.
set up alerts on your cel phones with the calendar for these types of things....you'll get a text when the alert date comes up.
04.24.09 - 12:00 pm
so you paid the fine and you are guilty ?
you paid the bail and you have a court date?
04.24.09 - 1:12 pm
I paid the bail about a month ago (because I forgot to pay it on time after receiving the first extension) The judge wouldn't let me go without making a payment either that day or no later than a week from that day.
I went to court today thinking I had to see the judge (8:30 am 6th floor dept. 109) but I noticed the back of the document attached to my payment and it said what I've already stated.
So basically, by not doing the trial/seeing the judge I guess I plead guilty to running the red (which means a point on my license - which to be honest with you guys I really don't give a shit about) but in doing so forfeit my bail as payment for the ticket.
04.24.09 - 2:11 pm
The point of this thread was to let other ridazz know that they don't have to pay anything in the upward amounts of $400 for a stupid red light.
Believe me, I've contacted the court 2 since coming home to make sure that the $201.00 I paid for bail was all I needed to pay and both times have been told I have a $0.00 balance with nothing due.
04.24.09 - 2:14 pm
I remember reading the the vehicle code that you can't get a "point" for a violation on a bicycle. Most of the time, they mess it up in the system and it gets added anyway....you need to go battle it out to get it changed.
04.25.09 - 8:17 am
Here's the link. First paragraph says no points assigned for bike or pedestrian violations...
04.25.09 - 8:37 am
Hey, thanks for clarifying this. I will also look into this as I have had a similar incident happen to me.
04.26.09 - 3:50 am
If money is an issue, you can always do community service instead of pay a fine.
04.26.09 - 4:29 am
People, since the time I originally posted the thread piece about how to beat a red light ticket, I've beat it twice, and Marino has once. Follow the instructions and you win. Paying a fine is a guilty plea. Case closed.
04.26.09 - 8:02 pm
No, I understand. I was petrified thinking I would have to pay upwards of $300-$400 for the ticket. I just wanted to ease people a bit.
But you're absolutely right. I was on the path on doing what your thread indicated but forgot to pay.
04.26.09 - 8:48 pm
thanks alot, man!
quite honestly i've been trying to forget the fact that i have a ticket, not matter how bogus it is. i'm definitely gonna get on top of it!
04.26.09 - 11:34 pm