Not sure what county this occurred, but the normal practice is to go to the Clerk's window at the traffic department and request a trial. They may ask for the bail amount at that time, or they may waive it. if you want to fight your ticket, do NOT pay the ticket by mail. However, you could pay the ticket and do traffic school because this is your first ticket and you are eligible. If you did traffic school, it will be taken off your record. If you truly want to fight it, go to the Courthouse. If you lose, ask the court for traffic school because you qualify for it. There is a court fee and a fee for the traffic school. Most people do traffic school online.
You should appear on your first appearance date and go to the traffic window and request that the matter be placed before the court so that you can be arraigned. At the arraignment you can plead not guilty and request "OR" which means that you are released without posting bail. You will then need to speak with the clerk of the court or the traffic window about scheduling a trial date. If you want to hire an attorney, our offices appear in Daly city often.
When you make your appearance, go to the clerk and put your matter on calendar. Do not pay ticket if you are going to plead not guilty.