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Speeding Ticket. What to expect in court?

San Bernardino, CA |

[I haven't gotten my license yet (no interest in one since I take the city bus everywhere) I can't afford to buy a car yet. I've only driven my dad's car a few times ever.]
The last time I drove I got pulled over by police and got a ticket. No License (misdemeanor), Speeding (40mph on a 25mph zone) and No liabilty insurance.

...What should I expect in court? I got the time and date on the ticket the officer handed me. Is that for a hearing of my charges and for the court to see what I will plea? Will the officer appear at this hearing?

...There is no possible way I was going 40mph. i have a few reasons to believe he stopped me for no reason. If I plead not guilty and decide to contest the charge, how long would usually have to wait for my case to go to court again?

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Attorney answers 3


You have to go to the clerk of the court-on or before the due date and get an arraignment date. At the arraignment you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you enter not guilty- a trial date will be set- usually within 45 days. At the time of the trial the officer will appear- or the case will be dismissed. While you have no interest in getting your license- that might be the best thing for you to do. Sometimes having a license will reduce the no license charge to an infraction. You sometimes drive-and not having a license is pointless. With a license, if you are found guilty, you could attend traffic school- eliminating the point. You face fines- and potential jail time for the misdemeanor. You might consider hiring an attorney.


You have three issues:
1. Speeding ticket. Even though you don't have a license, the DMV has a record for you in their system (or will once this ticket is resolved). This offense will add 1 point to your driving record. If you get a license, the court should let you attend traffic school to erase the conviction and point from your record. You can fight the ticket. A good resource is Nolo Press: How to fight your ticket in California and win.
2. No license. Usually this is reduced to an infraction and does not carry any points. The best way to handle this is to get a license, show it to the judge and usually they will dismiss it for a $25 fix-it fee.
3.No insurance. This is a big money item. Was the car you were driving insured? If you bring proof that it was insured on the day you were driving they judge should also dismiss this for another $25 fee. If not, then if you can get insurance coverage the judge will often reduce the fine amount.

It usually take the court about 6 to 8 weeks to get the ticket into the system. Don't wait for a courtesy notice to go to court and follow up frequently until it is filed. If you fail to appear the costs increase and it get more complicated to resolve. Once the ticket is in the court's system you can go before the judge. When you go you should be able to request more time to get your license or hire an attorney.

Once you plead not guilty, you can set it for trial within 45 days or further out if you waive time.


You're being hit with several issues all at once. This is the kind of situation that you need to be proactive with because you have a lot of room to work. I would definitely consider hiring an attorney. If you decide not to the resources recommended above are good.

In sum, you're going to want to get a drivers license so go ahead and prepare for that now. You can try to fight your other tickets although in my experience your chances aren't great without representation.

Best wishes,

Jason Beahm
Beahm Law