You may contest your ticket by entering a plea of not guilty at your first hearing, an arraignment. The arraignment will take place in front of a judge or court commissioner. The Court will advise you of the charges against you and your constitutional rights.
Tip: When attending your arraignment, focus on the fact that you are there for the purpose of entering a plea of "guilty" "not guilty" or "no contest. Sometimes, people head to the podium and start discussing the facts of their case with the commissioner. Generally, this is viewed by the Court to be a waste of the Court's time. Try to avoid a lengthy dialogue.
SETTING A DATE FOR ARRAIGNMENT AND TRIAL
Many people may find it useful and convenient to use LASUPERIORCOURT.ORG where you may find your ticket through the website's "search by driver's license" or "search by citation number" feature. Once you find the applicable citation, you can follow the on screen instructions and set your arraignment date.
Tip: Sometimes, the actual date listed on the ticket may not be the arraignment date. Rather, it is simply the date in which you "promise to appear".
DEALING WITH BAIL ISSUES
Depending on the court location, presiding judge, or commissioner, you may be required to post the bail amount on your citation at the arraignment should you plead "not guilty" and request a court trial.
Tip: If you cannot afford the bail amount, it may be wise to request what is commonly known as "OR release" and otherwise known as being "released on your own recognizance".
For more information on how to make this argument to the court, it would be wise to consult with an attorney in your area who regularly deals with traffic representation.
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