After getting a traffic ticket in California, you have two options: pay the fine immediately or show up to court and take it from there. Showing up to court will allow you to postpone your payments, challenge your ticket or elect to go to driving school and avoid points on your license.
But sometimes, you need a bit more time before you decide what course you’ll take. There are options for drivers who wish to postpone their court date, which we’ll go into detail here.
What To Do With A Notice To Appear
After you get pulled over by a police officer, they will ask you for your driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance. If you get a ticket for a violation (infraction), you will get a “Notice to Appear,” where the charges will be listed, along with other information about where and when to appear in court. You sign the ticket, and then it’s all in your hands.
In California, you also now get an additional letter reminding you to appear in court at or before the date on the ticket. But regardless of whether or not you get this additional letter or notice, you are legally required to appear in court by the date stated on the ticket.
How To Push Back The Date On your Court Date
Although you can’t ignore the court date on the ticket, the date itself is not unmovable. You can request an extension and get your arraignment pushed to a later date. It’s a good tactic if you want to challenge your citation later because the police write so many tickets and stop so many drivers that they sometimes forget each case’s details. Especially if you were nice and the stop was fast, the officer likely would have forgotten most of the facts about your infraction. Once your trial date arrives, which you can also delay, you can argue you didn’t deserve to be charged.
Be aware that rescheduling a court date isn’t an automatic process. To get your request approved, you must have a reasonable basis for the due date extension. If you don’t have a good reason, the court date stays, and you must comply, no matter what.
Different jurisdictions in California have their own protocols for this, but most traffic court websites, like the one for Orange County, have everything you need for an extension. Their websites contain a list of the requirements and a special portal to ask for an extension of the initial arraignment in writing, over the phone, or in person.
For an extension of the trial, you need to first appear before the judge. However you request the extension, remember to have a good justification. Examples of an acceptable excuse for an extension are:
- Financial problems.
- Health issues.
- More time is needed to prepare for the arraignment.
- A witness essential to your case is not available.
- Prior employment, school, or family commitments.
If you’re still not sure how to get your court date rescheduled, contact Ticket Snipers because we understand the impact of a traffic ticket on our clients’ lives. We know they can’t take time off from work to go to court or traffic school, and they can’t afford hefty penalties or higher insurance rates.
If you’re looking for the best and most capable team, please call us at Ticket Snipers, and we’ll handle your ticket!