My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California.
About a month ago, I pulled out of a parking lot onto a main street. I pull into the farthest right lane (dedicated right turn only) at a red light, where an 18-wheeler truck is already in the lane to the left of mine (his lane is a straight lane; our lanes separated by a solid line), and his right turn signal is on. When the cross traffic passes, the second I stop at the light signalling, he begins his right turn onto the cross street, while I am still stopped in the farthest right lane. The trailer of his truck crushes (and totals) my car. The police came, said they were faulting the truck driver at first, but the truck driver claimed he has a video recording from his truck cabin that the police officer should look at. A week later when the police report was finished, I was at fault for the accident and received a citation for cvc 22107 for $221 dollars.
What are my options? I would obviously like to fight this, but do I have a chance? I heard that if you plead not-guilty at trial, and are found guilty anyway, that the fine imposed by the judge may be higher than the bail amount. Is this true? I heard that you aren't eligible for traffic school if there was an accident at the time of the citation... is this true?
Without sounding pretentious, this accident has ruined my life; I won't be getting money from the insurance co., rate will go up, and I can't afford another car for at least a few more years as I am an unemployed college student with literally $0 in the bank, a huge credit card debt, and tens of thousands in loans to pay. I am looking for the cheapest way to handle this.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.