My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California
Hello, in early May I received a Red Light Photo enforcement ticket for code violation 21453(a) (Failure to stop a red light). The short story is that I did not come to a complete stop when making a right turn when the traffic signal was red. In my courtesy notice was enclosed 4 photos which included a picture of my face, picture of my licenses, and two pictures of my car at the intersection. Also, I received a web link to a website where I can watch streaming video of my violation (yes, I did not make a complete stop..It looks like I slowed down to about 5 MPH and made the turn....guilty as charged.) This looks like a open and closed case and I was ready to pay the fine but I almost fainted when I find out the fine is $446. With traffic school, I'm probably looking to at least $550 of out of pocket costs.
The advice I'm seeking: Is there a way I can ask for a fine reduction? I was planning to goto court to talk to the judge but then I read about Trial by Declaration (TBD). From what I'm reading about TBD, you may not get traffic school and I'm not arguing whether or not i'm guility...(I know I'm guility), I just want to see if I can get the fine reduced b/c $446 is outragous.
Any ideas? Should I goto court or use TBD? What should I say to the court or in the TBD to get a fine reduction and traffic school?
Other information: I have no accidents and my last moving violation was in year 2005. There were no peds in the crosswalk and the cross traffic was making a protected left turn (and those lanes do not allow U-turns so I would of not come close to hitting a car).