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Contesting Your Citation

On vehicle code infractions you may plead not guilty by mail or in person, unless your citation requires a mandatory appearance. You have different options for a trial as listed below. Note: You will need to post bail of the amount of your citation to secure your appearance and enter a not guilty plea.


HOW CAN I CONTEST MY TICKET?

To contest a misdemeanor violation you must appear in court.

The following information is for vehicle code infraction violations:
Appear in court and request a Court Trial:

  • A court trial is a trial where you appear in person to testify about the facts in the case.
  • The officer who issued the citation will be subpoenaed to appear, and the prosecutor may subpoena other witnesses to appear and testify.
  • You have the right to subpoena witnesses and to have a lawyer present, if you retain one.

Submit your intent to plead not guilty along with the bail amount and request a Court Trial.

You can submit your intent to plead not guilty instead of appearing in person. Such notice must be mailed to the court named on the citation and sent registered mail or certified mail 5 days prior to the scheduled appearance. The full bail amount must be included with the request. You will be notified of the scheduled court trial date at which you must appear.

  • A court trial is a trial where you appear in person to testify about the facts in the case.
  • The officer who issued the citation will be subpoenaed to appear, and the prosecutor may subpoeana other witnesses to appear and testify.
  • You have the right to subpoena witnesses and to have a lawyer present, if you retain one.

Submit a Trial by Written Declaration:

  • A trial by written declaration is a procedure where, instead of appearing in court for a trial on your citation, you mail or bring in a written statement on a trial by written declaration by explaining the facts of your case and why the court should rule in your favor.
  • You are entitled to a trial by written declaration. Your request for trial by written declaration must be made in person or in writing.
  • You are required to deposit the bail amount at the time of your request.
  • Upon receipt the court will mail you written instructions.
  • You may also include any documentary evidence you feel may be helpful.
  • The officer who issued the citation will also be asked to submit a written statement.
  • You must waive your rights to appear, to testify in person, and to subpoena witnesses.
  • The California Judicial Council provides instructions and a form (which is mandatory) for defendants wishing to contest a citation in writing:

Note: Internet payments are not applicable to posting bail for a court trial or a trial by written declaration.

© 2014 Superior Court of Orange County