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  1. #1
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    Default Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    Hi,

    I submitted a TBD for a red light citing vehicle code 21455.5(g) and submitting the contract between the city and the camera company with it. I received in return a piece of paper with a guilty box checked and no explanation. I asked about that and why traffic school was not mentioned (it was in the courtesy notice) and was told that my request was untimely. I called the court the day after receiving the courtesy notice asking if the TBD would void my right to traffic school and was told it wouldn't, and that's the only reason I did the TBD. I sent like the the day after. Now I wrote back to the judge explainanign all this: any recommendation on what to do?

    In the meanwhile I got a speeding ticket too, which I fought as well (I'm waiting to hear). If my point for the first ticket stays, can I still do traffic school (never did it before)? What's my best bet with the second one now? I claimed that the traffic survey in the city is too old (2001) so speed limits are obsolete. The ticket says I was going 50 in a 25 zone and doesn't specify how the speed was measured (got pulled over).

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    Quote Quoting tac00
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    I received in return a piece of paper with a guilty box checked and no explanation.

    No explanation is ever given!


    Quote Quoting tac00
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    I asked about that and why traffic school was not mentioned (it was in the courtesy notice) and was told that my request was untimely. I called the court the day after receiving the courtesy notice asking if the TBD would void my right to traffic school and was told it wouldn't, and that's the only reason I did the TBD.

    Traffic school may be requested by the defendant at any stage during the process; however, once you get past the initial stage (the arraignment), and plead not guilty and request a trial or a TBD, it becomes up to the discretion of the judge. Meaning you can still request it, but no guarantee you'll get it even if it was available previously! And the court need not provide a reason for the denial.

    Some judges will automatically grant it after a TBD/trial, others maybe a bit more strict with it and base it on the circumstances of the case.

    Not sure what writing to the judge will do... More often than not, letters to the judge aren't even delivered to the judge! But who knows... If you were told to do so by the clerk, I see no reason why they would not deliver it!


    Quote Quoting tac00
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    In the meanwhile I got a speeding ticket too, which I fought as well (I'm waiting to hear). If my point for the first ticket stays, can I still do traffic school (never did it before)?

    Yes you can!


    Quote Quoting tac00
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    What's my best bet with the second one now?

    Well, when you get the Notice of Decision from the court, comeback and let us know, we'll go from there.


    Quote Quoting tac00
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    I claimed that the traffic survey in the city is too old (2001) so speed limits are obsolete. The ticket says I was going 50 in a 25 zone and doesn't specify how the speed was measured (got pulled over).

    Claimed as in "made it up"? IF so, you can expect to lose... If you did in fact obtain a copy of the most recent survey and it was last conducted longer than 10 years prior to the date of the violation, then yeah, it maybe too old. However, there are several ways to have a 25mph zone without having to have a survey justify that particular limit. Additionally, and before you do anything else with a survey, one must establish that the speed was measured using RADAR or LIDAR; if it wan't (which would mean it was a pace) then speed trap laws do not apply!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    Well, when you get the Notice of Decision from the court, comeback and let us know, we'll go from there.
    I will for sure, thank you so much for your response!

    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    Claimed as in "made it up"? IF so, you can expect to lose... If you did in fact obtain a copy of the most recent survey and it was last conducted longer than 10 years prior to the date of the violation, then yeah, it maybe too old. However, there are several ways to have a 25mph zone without having to have a survey justify that particular limit. Additionally, and before you do anything else with a survey, one must establish that the speed was measured using RADAR or LIDAR; if it wan't (which would mean it was a pace) then speed trap laws do not apply!
    I got the info from the city website, and attached a copy to the declaration. I hope that's accurate!

    http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/depts/...8&TargetID=106

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    Hi folks, update on my cases.
    Case #1: like I said I wrote back to the judge explaining the whole traffic school misinformation and re-attaching the check for it. I just found out that they cashed the check 3 days ago, but I didn't receive any update from them.
    Case #2: I was found guilty and they offered me traffic school, and included the fee in my updated balance (they reduced the ticket so they actually owe me money now).

    So in theory (unless in case #1 they just decided to steal my fee!) I should have 2 traffic school requests granted: do you think it's worth attempting to do both and see if they sneak into the DMV database? Or should I just call the second court and say I had traffic school approved on the first and I can't attend it anymore?

    Thanks again for all the help!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    The OP's case is probably closed by now, but here's my experience for anyone seeking information for a similar case (two tickets, trial by written declaration, traffic school eligibility).

    If you lost your Trial By Written Declaration, opt for a Trial De Novo, which means you get a whole new chance at fighting your case. You can file for a TDN at the court or you can submit your request in writing, but the court has to receive your request within 20 days of your guilty verdict (so act quickly!). A TDN requires you to show up in court to argue your case in person. Regardless of your ticket, your best chance at winning is if the officer does not show up.

    Like the OP, I received two moving violation tickets within a short period of time (in my case, within a few weeks of each other). In hopes of winning, I did the following for each ticket:

    1. Filed for an extension. I did this online, so I received a new deadline instantly.
    2. Plead "not guilty" and requested "Trial by Written Declaration" in writing. The court mailed the TBWD form back to me pretty quickly.
    3. Using this site and TicketAssassin.com as references, I argued my particular case in writing, supplementing it with pictures when necessary. Each statement was 1-2 pages. I receive my "Guilty" verdict (both cases) within a few weeks.
    4. I promptly request "Trial De Novo" in writing. The court replies with my trial date and time pretty quickly.
    5. I go to court. The judge takes roll, dismisses those whose officers are not present, offers traffic school to those who are eligible, records those who plead "no contest", and finally proceeds with the rest who continue to want to argue their cases. This is at Torrance Courthouse in Torrance, California; I can't say this is the same procedure for other courthouses, in other courtrooms, or with other judges.

    Case #1: My officer was present. I was eligible for traffic school so I took that option. I was able to take online traffic school. Point erased.
    Case #2: My officer was present. I was obviously not eligible for traffic school because I took that option for Case#1 weeks earlier. Nevertheless, I asked the judge if I could possible take traffic school, and the judge said he would allow it if my officer agreed to it. The officer agreed, so I was granted traffic school. I was not allowed to take online traffic school, so the court required I take the in-person traffic school. Point erased.

    If I get cited in the same location (Palos Verdes Estates) in the future, I will file TBWD that simply says "I'm not guilty. I declare by penalty of perjury etc". Why? A thought-out written argument is more time consuming that I expected, and only minimal written effort by the officer is required to win. Keep in mind, this is if I get cited in PVE, one of the safest, violence-free cities in the country, and a tiny city at that. I don't have anything against PVE officers, but the reality is, 99.9% of their work is pulling over soccer moms and gardeners. Their duty is to enforce the law, and those are the laws they enforce, it is what it is. Knowing that, I figure they have more time and energy to respond to paperwork (I figured it comes down to their laziness whether to do so) and/or show up in court every week. But from what I observed, officers still fail to show up at court for whatever reason, obviously a chance I'm willing to take.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    Thank you for your response. I'm actually in a similar situation:

    Case #1: the check was cashed because they finally decided to approve my traffic school which I completed
    Case #2: I got a traffic school approval in parallel, but then I called them saying I was approved for my first case already and they said I can't take traffic school and they can't reimburse the fee either!

    Question now is: is there a point to take the traffic school for #2 or will the DMV ignore it seeing the first one coming through?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    Quote Quoting HigherGround
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    5. I go to court. The judge takes roll, dismisses those whose officers are not present, offers traffic school to those who are eligible, records those who plead "no contest", and finally proceeds with the rest who continue to want to argue their cases. This is at Torrance Courthouse in Torrance, California; I can't say this is the same procedure for other courthouses, in other courtrooms, or with other judges.
    Glad you specified which court. And I think the procedure you mentioned is exclusive to that particular court. Based on what I've seen in several other courts, roll is taken by the clerk. Disclosing who's officer is present and who's isn't done; if eligible, you are given the opportunity to change your plea and take traffic school; once all of that is done, once all paperwork is handed out accordingly and those case files with appropriate changes are returned to the clerk's office (who will then be taking payments from those who elected traffic school) by the clerk, the judge enters the courtroom, calls out the few cases where the the officer isn't present, might even continue some trial dates if a proper continuance was requested by the officer and/or dismisses the few no shows by sending the defendant on their merry way. You can still request traffic school if you lose and choose, but unless you presented a decent case where you had some mitigating circumstances yet not enough to mitigate a dismissal, the likely response from the judge is a plain and simple "request denied".

    Quote Quoting HigherGround
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    Case #1: My officer was present. I was eligible for traffic school so I took that option. I was able to take online traffic school. Point erased.
    Case #2: My officer was present. I was obviously not eligible for traffic school because I took that option for Case#1 weeks earlier. Nevertheless, I asked the judge if I could possible take traffic school, and the judge said he would allow it if my officer agreed to it. The officer agreed, so I was granted traffic school. I was not allowed to take online traffic school, so the court required I take the in-person traffic school. Point erased.
    Clearly, by virtue of the sentence I underlined, ALL of that happened BEFORE June/2011. Your inability to take online traffic school for the second was simply because you were required to attend 12 instead of the normal 8 hour class. That was what was often referred to as the 12 hour traffic school or the second chance traffic school. That program is no longer offered. So not only would that not work nowadays, you would be wasting your time and money by trying to fake the system.

    And yes, even though the point was erased in case #2, the violation still appeared on your driving record as a "case dismissed". Meaning your insurer would know you got cited and that you took the 2nd chance traffic school.

    Quote Quoting HigherGround
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    If I get cited in the same location (Palos Verdes Estates) in the future, I will file TBWD that simply says "I'm not guilty. I declare by penalty of perjury etc". Why? A thought-out written argument is more time consuming that I expected, and only minimal written effort by the officer is required to win. Keep in mind, this is if I get cited in PVE, one of the safest, violence-free cities in the country, and a tiny city at that.
    Regardless of what location you get cited in, if anyone ever decides to submit ^a blank declaration^, and if they happen to lose and later decide to go to a TBD, they should be prepared to answer a judge's question as to "why you never submitted a defense in your TBD and yet here you are at a TDN ad all of a sudden you've made up a defense and you expect her/him to believe it; if it were true, then why did you not submit it in a TBD and if all you planned on submitting in a TBD was a blank one, then why request a TBD/TDN and not go straight to a court trial?"... You can bet your case on the fact that "a TBD is too time consuming" isn't going to work sas justification for wasting the courts time and resources.

    Quote Quoting HigherGround
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    I don't have anything against PVE officers, but the reality is, 99.9% of their work is pulling over soccer moms and gardeners.
    I think you should add "kids who are born to rich parents, in expensive cars, acting like snobs and driving like idiots simply because they don't care about the cost of tickets or higher insurance premiums".... etc. All you have to do is to browse some online car forums and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

    So even though in your experience, you had two cases where BOTH times the officers showed up, you still claim that from "what you observed, officers still fail to show up at court for whatever reason"?

    Quote Quoting HigherGround
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    Their duty is to enforce the law, and those are the laws they enforce, it is what it is. Knowing that, I figure they have more time and energy to respond to paperwork (I figured it comes down to their laziness whether to do so) and/or show up in court every week. But from what I observed, officers still fail to show up at court for whatever reason, obviously a chance I'm willing to take.
    I think an officer's duty would be to enforce ALL laws, not the ones they cite frequently. The analogy you provide there leads me to believe that they will ALWAYS submit their TBDs and ALWAYS appear in court -they have nothing better to do-... But again, if that is your description of PVE and its officers, then of those who might end up visiting this forum, how many do you think will benefit from this discussion???

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting tac00
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    So in theory (unless in case #1 they just decided to steal my fee!) I should have 2 traffic school requests granted: do you think it's worth attempting to do both and see if they sneak into the DMV database? Or should I just call the second court and say I had traffic school approved on the first and I can't attend it anymore?
    I must have missed the OPs update but find ^this tidbit^ interesting:

    Where do you get the idea that the court would steal your fee? If you submitted it as part of you posting bail along with a request for a TBD, then that is your mistake for trying to fake the system into guaranteeing yourself traffic school after a TBD. Which obviously did not work for you, did it?

    And why should you be granted 2 traffic school requests when in fact, your first one was denied (and you wrote the judge and probably got no response)? But even if it wasn't denied, why should you be granted 2 traffic school requests when we all know that you can only take 1 traffic school dismissal for every 18 month period?

    Needless to say, if you tried to sneak it into the DMV database, you would have likely found out that it doesn't work that way. Not without the 12 hour traffic school program which is no longer available.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    Lots of detailed info, ThatGuy. I always learn something from reading your posts. Thanks!

    Quote Quoting That Guy
    View Post
    Clearly, by virtue of the sentence I underlined, ALL of that happened BEFORE June/2011. Your inability to take online traffic school for the second was simply because you were required to attend 12 instead of the normal 8 hour class. That was what was often referred to as the 12 hour traffic school or the second chance traffic school. That program is no longer offered. So not only would that not work nowadays, you would be wasting your time and money by trying to fake the system.
    Maybe I'm not understanding you clearly, but I was required to take an 8-hour course for my second case.

    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    Regardless of what location you get cited in, if anyone ever decides to submit ^a blank declaration^, and if they happen to lose and later decide to go to a TBD, they should be prepared to answer a judge's question as to "why you never submitted a defense in your TBD and yet here you are at a TDN ad all of a sudden you've made up a defense and you expect her/him to believe it; if it were true, then why did you not submit it in a TBD and if all you planned on submitting in a TBD was a blank one, then why request a TBD/TDN and not go straight to a court trial?"... You can bet your case on the fact that "a TBD is too time consuming" isn't going to work sas justification for wasting the courts time and resources.
    If it's a Trial De Novo, does the judge still take any part of your TBD into consideration? I thought TDN was an entirely new chance to argue your case.


    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    So even though in your experience, you had two cases where BOTH times the officers showed up, you still claim that from "what you observed, officers still fail to show up at court for whatever reason"?
    From what I observed, about half of the cases were dismissed right off the bat because the officer did not show up or submitted a "no recollection of this case" statement. The defendants who showed up won without saying a word. I was not so lucky, and I guess I am trying to figure if I had any control over why my officers showed up.

    Quote Quoting That Guy
    View Post
    I think an officer's duty would be to enforce ALL laws, not the ones they cite frequently. The analogy you provide there leads me to believe that they will ALWAYS submit their TBDs and ALWAYS appear in court -they have nothing better to do-... But again, if that is your description of PVE and its officers, then of those who might end up visiting this forum, how many do you think will benefit from this discussion???
    Although I highly doubt they would see this, there really is no way to know. I guess I should've kept my mouth shut on this. Ah well.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    I must have missed the OPs update but find ^this tidbit^ interesting:

    Where do you get the idea that the court would steal your fee? If you submitted it as part of you posting bail along with a request for a TBD, then that is your mistake for trying to fake the system into guaranteeing yourself traffic school after a TBD. Which obviously did not work for you, did it?

    And why should you be granted 2 traffic school requests when in fact, your first one was denied (and you wrote the judge and probably got no response)? But even if it wasn't denied, why should you be granted 2 traffic school requests when we all know that you can only take 1 traffic school dismissal for every 18 month period?

    Needless to say, if you tried to sneak it into the DMV database, you would have likely found out that it doesn't work that way. Not without the 12 hour traffic school program which is no longer available.[/QUOTE]

    I sent the check with a letter explaining that I was told on the phone by the court that TBD would not affect my right to attend traffic school. It did actually work in the sense that the check was cashed because the judge changed her mind and did grant traffic school finally. So I do have 2 traffic school requests granted at the same time by 2 different courts, hence my question on wether it's worth or not trying to attend the second one too (I already completed the first one).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Getting Traffic School After Losing a TBD

    Quote Quoting tac00
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    -snip- I just found out that they cashed the check 3 days ago, but I didn't receive any update from them.
    LOL. The courts move slowly unless they have a check to deposit.

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