Can I use "Trial by written declaration" to get out of a jaywalking ticket?

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Diego, CA

I was walking down the street in San Diego on Friday night at 2 am. I was at a four way stop light. My friend ran in front of a car while they had a green light. I waiting for the car to pass and looked both ways before crossing. The officer saw both of us cross, but gave me the jaywalking ticket. I realized that I broke the law, but is there any way to contest the ticket with a valid reason through trial by written declaration? If I submit a letter pleading not guilty with no explanation, will the judge throw out the ticket if the officer does not submit a letter of declaration?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Michael Larson Stuart

    Contributor Level 10

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . This response is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information offered in this response is for general informational purposes and is not a legal consultation. You must talk with an attorney of your choice before making any decision about your actual legal rights.

    The police officer must respond to the court by declaration if you choose that option. If the officer does not respond, your case will be dismissed. If you were crossing the street against a red light and were in a cross walk, then it technically is not "jaywalking." It is still an infraction to cross against a red signal though. My suggestion is to just show up to your first court date and plead not guilty. Then see if the officer shows up to the second court at the bench trial. This way if you are unfortunately found guilty, you can make a pitch to the judge to get the smallest fine possible. I think it is always best to do things in person rather than by declaration. You will probably get a better result by going to court, in my experience. If you do not live in the area or do not want to take the time to deal with it yourself, contact an attorney like myself to handle it for you for a small fee.

  2. Mohammad Ali Salimi

    Contributor Level 12

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . I agree with my colleagues and will add that you will be required to submit your bail amount (exactly the amount of the fine) along with your TBWD whereas you can request the judge not require bail if you go to your arraignment in-person and plead not guilty.

    This is NOT legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists.
  3. David Philip Shapiro

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . So long as you do not mind posting the bail money, and assuming you can file a trial by written declaration first, do so. Then if you lose you may still be entitled to a court trial.

    Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555
  4. Andrew Stephen Roberts

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes - I believe you can file a TBD for a jaywalking ticket. The officer must respond or case will be dismissed.

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