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

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?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

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.

Posted

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

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

How do I find out the bail amount if it is not listed on my ticket? There is no fine amount listed. Also, if I submit the bail amount and the case is dismissed, do I receive a refund of the bail amount?

Mohammad Ali Salimi

Mohammad Ali Salimi

Posted

You should have several options: (1) use the online system [if listed on citation] by using either citation number or driver's license number; (2) call the number on the citation; or (3) ask the court clerk - you'll have to actually go to the courthouse and ask. Yes, you receive a full refund if you win. Expect it to take 2 to 8 weeks to get back to you.

Posted

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