Charged with a Traffic Ticket in Federal Court? Don’t Pay It. Fight It.
When is a traffic ticket not an ordinary traffic ticket? When the violation occurs on a military base and you are charged with a federal crime.
On the China Lake Naval Base and Edwards Air Force Base in KernCounty, any traffic violation received on those bases is sent to the Federal Court Eastern District at the Bakersfield Federal Courthouse.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to drive out to either of those bases, you know they are particularly long ones and through the desert. The area around Edwards seems to generate the higher number of tickets as there are long straight stretches of desert road (one 14 mile stretch is heavily ticketed) and although you are “technically" on the base, there are miles and miles of desert and open road. Drivers, wanting to get the drive over as quickly as possible and seeing little, if any traffic, tend to speed up, especially on the stretch near Rosamond, California.
Tickets on the bases are often for VC22348(b), which means the driver was going over one hundred miles an hour. The other common ticket is VC 22349(b). Both are California Vehicle Code moving violations, BUT because the offense occurred on a militarybase, federal rules apply. This means that for an offense where you would be eligible for traffic school in state court with a option to just pay some extra money, attend a traffic school, and keep your record clear, you are required to either make an appearance in person or just pay the ticket without traffic school. The driver may also not wish to appear in court to fight the ticket simply because the drive from Edwards to Bakersfield Court is about ninety minutes, one way. But not making that drive will put a point on their record and probably lead to large insurance increases.
To keep insurance rates low, a driver’s best defense is to fight the ticket, and you’ll need an experienced traffic ticket attorney licensed to practice in federal court to fight a federal ticket. Save the drive by contacting an attorney who can appear for you and has the experience to fight your ticket.