Speeding tickets in Humboldt County, California

Speeding tickets are annoying by most people’s standards, but few do anything to fight them since most are “infractions” and do not carry any potential jail time.  This means that most indigent defendants who are ticketed do not have the constitutional “right to an attorney” (also known as free representation), and thus they often just pay up and do not force law enforcement to meet any burden of proof.  The tickets are paid without anyone showing that the drivers are guilty by competent evidence, as our judicial system would otherwise require.

It is worth fighting to protect your rights, with or without an attorney.  The average speeding ticket will count for one point on your DMV record (Vehicle Code § 12810) and three of those points in a year will result in a license suspension.  Fines for tickets can also be very high.  A chart of the 2012 California traffic fines can be found at www.courts.ca.gov/documents/Final-2012-JC-BAIL.pdf.

Finally, at least in Humboldt County, you don’t have much to lose if you fight the ticket.   Fighting a speeding ticket will not necessarily result in the loss of your right to attend traffic school as many believe.   (Traffic school is an important option for speeders since completing a course of traffic school can erase points from your DMV driving record. )  Inquire with the court clerk whether this is true for you.

In sum, you should not concede without a fight if you feel you are innocent.

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