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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    4

    Default Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

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

    Hello! I got my first ticket ever the other day and was cited for two things. One was a moving violation driving infraction and the other was a misdemeanor for having an out of state license. My license is still valid in the other state, but since I'm a permanent resident here I was supposed to get a California license.

    This is my first time getting a ticket at all, let alone a misdemeanor, so I'm totally lost and trying to figure out how to handle it. I'm going in to the DMV next week to get my license but besides that I'm not sure if I should get a lawyer. In trying to research around I've seen suggestions that as long as I immediately get my CA license it will probably be reduced to an infraction, but I'm not sure what I need to do on my part to make that happen or there's anything I can do to not get a point on my record for the other infraction either.

    Any general advice would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,981

    Default Re: Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

    What are the exact code sections you were cited for?

    I'm betting the out of state license issue can be prosecuted as either an infraction or misdemeanor, depending on the code section, and would almost assuredly be prosecuted as an infraction and may be correctable. Given the state of the CA criminal justice system, they aren't going to waste resources prosecuting something minor like that as a misdemeanor. If it's correctable, getting your California license prior to court may allow it to be knocked down to an administrative fee and no other penalty.
    I am the Mouse Man

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

    Thank you for your response! I really appreciate it.

    One was
    21801A - infraction - not correctable

    the other was

    12500A - misdemeanor - not correctable

    I'm going to the DMV on Monday to get my license but I'm worried about it being marked as not correctable. Is that something I can ask about when I go to court? Or is that something I should call ahead about or that they'll determine on their own beforehand? Apparently CA tickets don't even get registered in their system for at least 30 days so I won't be able to check on its status for awhile but I'm just trying to be as proactive as I can haha

    I was trying to research similar cases and it looks like many people end up resolving it like what you described, so I hope you're right! But I guess I'm just anxious about the "what ifs" since I've never navigated something like this before. I don't really want to contest either charge but I guess I'm worried about not knowing what to do if they somehow decide to still charge the one as a misdemeanor and am trying to figure out what I need to ask or do beforehand

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,981

    Default Re: Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

    The court may still allow the 12500A to be correctable. I can't make any 100% guarantees but you may get a notice of correction for the citation in the mail dropping it from a misdemeanor to an infraction because again, waste of resources.

    In case you were wondering, the fines for both charges if correction is not allowed will work out to about $640 and about $253 if the correction is allowed on the 12500A. You get 1 point on your license either way but the court will generally allow you to take traffic school to hide the point from the insurance company. There is an additional charge for that but I don't recall what it is.
    I am the Mouse Man

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,866

    Default Re: Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

    Traffic school is an additional $52 over the price of the ticket (fine/costs) that goes to the state, plus whatever the traffic school charges for their tuition.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

    Thank you both for your responses and estimating the fees! Itís much appreciated. Thankfully I can afford those fines ok since I donít spend a lot of money generally.

    If I donít receive anything in the mail prior about the misdemeanor being lowered to infraction/made correctable, will I have the chance to ask the judge about making it correctable/reducing it to an infraction when I go in to court? Or do I have to make a plea first thing? I guess I just have no clue what to expect when I show up.

    I apologize for asking so many questions about things that may seem pretty basic ó I donít know anyone else whoís experienced this stuff. I really appreciate your responses!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    California
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

    If you walk in to court with a valid license, the court can amend the charge to 12951, no license in possession, which is an infraction. You should be eligible for traffic school on the moving violation but not the license issue. Neither 12500 nor 12951 have points attached. 12500 is not technically a correctable offense but most judges will reduce the charge when the person comes in with a license.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Got a Misdemeanor on My First Ticket -- What to Do

    Thank you for your responses! I've been pretty anxious about everything this week and these replies have helped put my mind at ease for sure. I'm admittedly still a bit nervous about the possibility of them not reducing/amending the misdemeanor but in researching around this site and elsewhere the consensus does seem to be that I likely have nothing to worry about. I don't have a ton of money so I'd rather not hire a lawyer if I can help it; I can't do much until the ticket processes anyway so I'm just going to get my CA license asap next week, wait until the ticket processes in their online system so I can check on it and when I go in to court I'll be sure to take my new license with me and ask if it could possibly be made correctable.

    And needless to say if I move in the future I will be sure to look up when I need to have a new driver's license by. I really learned my lesson with this for sure!

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