What are the maximum penalties for this violation if found guilty?
As stated above, if you are found guilty of a traffic violation, it could result in hefty court fines, points on your DMV record, license suspension, and an increase in insurance rates. If any of those options are not attractive, you may want to consider fighting the ticket in court to try to get this reduced. You also want to look into whether traffic school is an available option. For some violations, traffic school is an excellent way to clear a ticket from your record. In California, you are able to attend traffic school every 18 months.
What is the Vehicle Code that I have allegedly violated?
It is also helpful to look up in the Vehicle Code, the section that you have been cited as a violation (i.e. VC 13500). Read the language of that particular Vehicle Code Section. If there is any part of that Vehicle Code that you believe you did not violate, this is a good thing to argue in court to the judge. The police officer has the burden of proving that you violated the Vehicle Code Section-- if you can defend yourself in court that you did not do what was stated, this could be very beneficial to you in court.
Is it worth hiring an attorney to represent me for a traffic ticket?
Attorneys are a great resource for helping fight traffic tickets in court. Hiring an attorney could save you your valuable time and energy. In most traffic cases, attorneys can appear in court for you, without you having to be in court. Attorneys also have the experience and knowledge from fighting other cases, perhaps similar to your own, and have ideas on defenses for your case. Most traffic attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your matter before you decide to retain their services.