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May I submit a trial by written declaration for an open-container citation?

Pleasanton, CA |

I reside in California, the citation specifically was in San Francisco. May I submit a Trial by Written Declaration ("TBWD") for an open-container citation (infraction, Business & Professions Code 25620(a)). Open reviewing previous Avvo answers, I discovered that one attorney stated that TBWD were only for traffic (CVC) and no other codes. Another attorney answered that it was possible. Thank you for any clarification.

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Attorney answers 3


Normally, TBD are limited to traffic infractions. However, certain localities within California actually allow for a TBD in certain non-traffic infractions.

Whether or not you can do a trial by declaration in your jurisdiction will be dictated by the local court rules. Those local rules may be available on line, or you could just call the particular court and ask the court's clerk.


You should contact the Clerk of Court at the Court where your citation will be heard. Usually they do not allow Trial by Written Declaration for open container.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Practicing throughout Southern California
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


I am fairly certain that a trial by declaration is not allowed for this offense. You can still have a court trial of course. Plead not guilty and hire a lawyer, officers often make mistakes in these types of cases.

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