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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    4

    Default What Happens when Caught Driving Without Your License That You Forgot at Home

    My question involves a driver's license issued by the State of: CALIFORNIA

    Accidentally left my license at my desk in my dorm room when running a quick errand. Got pulled over and issued a ticket 12951a even though the cop checked via computer and saw that my license was valid. Also, forgot to turn on headlights for 200 ft., remembered and had lights on when cop pulled us over but he still issued a 24250vc.

    Did not receive a Courtesy notice as not CA resident but a student there and have since returned home.

    Online it says I need to appear in court. Does anyone know what the fines are and if it is possible to do a Trial by Written Declaration?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: What Happens when Caught Driving W/O Your License That You Forgot at Home

    Bring your license to court. Odds are that will be thrown out.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    73,626

    Default Re: What Happens when Caught Driving W/O Your License That You Forgot at Home

    Some courts will dismiss if you go to the clerk and present your valid license, issued prior to the ticket. Most prosecutors will do the same at a court hearing. The dismissal may be contingent upon some payment of court costs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,175

    Default Re: What Happens when Caught Driving Without Your License That You Forgot at Home

    Quote Quoting ddm
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    Got pulled over and issued a ticket 12951a even though the cop checked via computer and saw that my license was valid.
    VC 12951(a) is a violation for driving without a valid license in your possession, it is not for being an "unlicensed driver". So that citation is valid. If it is marked as "correctable" then you can send in a copy of your driver's license and this violation will be dismissed pending payment of a $25 administrative fee to the court.

    Quote Quoting ddm
    View Post
    Also, forgot to turn on headlights for 200 ft., remembered and had lights on when cop pulled us over but he still issued a 24250vc.
    He'd already witnessed you driving without headlights, so assuming it was during the time "from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise and any other time when visibility is not sufficient to render clearly discernible any person or vehicle on the highway at a distance of 1,000 feet" (from VC 280), then that citation is valid.

    Quote Quoting ddm
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    Did not receive a Courtesy notice as not CA resident but a student there and have since returned home.
    Where is "home"? What state are you licensed in? And will you be returning to CA any time soon?

    Quote Quoting ddm
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    Online it says I need to appear in court. Does anyone know what the fines are and if it is possible to do a Trial by Written Declaration?
    It depends on whether you have a "mandatory court appearance" or whether it is saying you "can show the correction to the clerk" (which can be done by mail).

    You may have to contact the court for clarification.

    The fines are:

    12951(a) approximately $230 if not correctable - $25 if correctable.
    24250 approximately $230.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: What Happens when Caught Driving Without Your License That You Forgot at Home

    Home is NH. Online it only allowed us to extend the court date to 8/15. It did not show any fines. I have tried contacting the Court which is Metropolitan Los Angeles but they only have a computer automated line with no access to a real person. Do you know of another phone number that I can try where I can actually talk to someone live?

    It does indicate that 12951(a) is CORRECTABLE on the ticket. Do we need to go to court since we live so far away? Can we send in a copy of the license with the $25 and the fine for the 24250 (assuming that we get the exact fine amount) and not appear in court?

    Or alternatively, how can we get a 2nd extension when I am back on campus in the fall so I don't have to travel to CA twice? Thanks for all your help!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,175

    Default Re: What Happens when Caught Driving Without Your License That You Forgot at Home

    Quote Quoting ddm
    View Post
    It did not show any fines.
    As far as I know, if the only option you're seeing online is to schedule a court date, that is an indication that you have a mandatory appearance.

    Don't ask me why! There are limited circumstances where an appearance is mandatory for an infraction case (eg: excessive speed related citations), none of which apply here.

    Quote Quoting ddm
    View Post
    Do you know of another phone number that I can try where I can actually talk to someone live?
    Unfortunately I don't! Sorry!

    Quote Quoting ddm
    View Post
    It does indicate that 12951(a) is CORRECTABLE on the ticket. Do we need to go to court since we live so far away? Can we send in a copy of the license with the $25 and the fine for the 24250 (assuming that we get the exact fine amount) and not appear in court?

    Or alternatively, how can we get a 2nd extension when I am back on campus in the fall so I don't have to travel to CA twice? Thanks for all your help!!
    Yes, typically, you can submit proof of correction, pay a fine and/or submit a request for a TBD or any combination thereof for these types of offenses. However, in cases where a mandatory court appearance is required, you must appear before the judge first, and then depending on how you plead, you can proceed accordingly.

    So in this case, and since it seems like you must appear first, your payment(s), any documentation and/or your TBD request will likely be returned to you with an instruction to schedule an appearance date first.

    So you might as well write a letter to the court (look up the court's mailing adddress online www.LASuperiorcourt.org ) requesting an extension of your appearance date to a date when you know you will be in California.

    Also, it goes without saying but you should keep copies of any and all communications and documents you mail, send that letter Certified + Return Receipt Requested just in case, and include your correct return address.

    BTW, (just for future reference and to avoid confusing others who may come across this thread) the fact that you're not a CA resident does not mean you won't get a courtesy notice. Since you had no license in your possession to give to the officer (and therefore no address for him to verify and copy onto the citation), it is safe to assume that he asked you for your current mailing address. What happened after that, I don't know!

    Anyways, I'd be curious to find out why you had a mandatory appearance, so if you can post an update to this thread when you find out, I'd appreciate it.

    Good luck!

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