The traffic situation in Trinity County is somewhat unique. There's just one stop light in the entire county. Still, some folks find a way to get an occasional traffic ticket. Should that happen to you, this page will tell you what to do.
Citations can be issued for violations of traffic laws and other non-traffic offenses including Boating and Fish and Game. Infractions are not punishable by jail or prison and are not subject to trial by jury; rather, the punishment is a fine. Common examples of traffic infractions are speeding, not wearing a seat belt, or failure to provide proof of insurance or a current vehicle registration. Some infractions are correctable such as a headlight out or a faulty turn signal lamp.
Note: Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cases are criminal matters and are handled in the court's Criminal Division.
Okay, I Got A Ticket. What Do I Do Now?
PAY THE TICKET
An option with most citations is to simply pay it and close your case. This is referred to as "forfeiting bail" and is considered a conviction. If the violation is reportable to the DMV, an abstract of conviction will be submitted to the DMV. Most moving violations, such as speeding tickets will stay on your driving record for 3 years and are 1 point.
FIX THE CORRECTABLE OFFENSE
If one or more of the violations are correctable offenses, your bail/fine may be reduced by providing proof of correction.
ENROLL IN TRAFFIC SCHOOL
Your courtesy notice will indicate whether or not you are eligible to attend traffic school.
If you are eligible and complete a traffic violator school program, your conviction will be held confidential and not show on your driving record.
CONTEST YOUR TICKET
For most types of traffic offenses, there are two ways to plead not guilty: Request a court trial and appear in court, or a trial by written declaration, done by mail, in which no court appearance is necessary.
If your courtesy notice states that you are required to appear in court you must do so on or before your due date. Make sure to call the Court to schedule an appearance date. Extensions are not allowed on citations that require a mandatory court appearance. If you fail to appear in court as you have promised you may be subject to an additional "Failure to Appear" charge. This is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine, or jail, or both. The Department of Motor Vehicles may withhold the issuance or renewal of your driver's license, and may revoke or suspend your driving privilege.
WHAT IF I'M LATE?
Failure to appear or to resolve a citation on or before the due date may result in a DMV hold being placed on your driver's license or a warrant being issued for your arrest. Your bail may also be increased and a Civil Assessment imposed.