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Traffic FAQ

Ability to pay

If you have a financial hardship you may request the court to consider your ability to pay pursuant to CRC Rule 4.335. If you have an upcoming court hearing on your traffic infraction, you can address your ability to pay with the judge at that time. If your case is not already set for calendar, you can contact the clerk at (916) 408-6000 to schedule an ability to pay motion hearing. You must be present at this hearing for the court to consider your request.

Notice to Appear:

A bail notice is a courtesy, and you may not receive one. The court date on your citation may differ from the court date on your bail notice. Please note the bail notice court date is your “official” date to pay or appear. Regardless, you are responsible for the citation, and you must follow up by either showing in person on your official scheduled court date, calling or writing a letter/email for information. If you do not pay or appear on your official scheduled court date, a bench warrant may be issued, loss of driving privileges, civil penalties and/or increased bail in any combination will be charged to your case.

Proof of Correction:

If your citation is for a correctable offense you may send the court proof that the offense has been corrected and an administrative fee (per your courtesy notice) by your due date. Please do not confuse this type of citation with a “Notice to Correct”. The “Notice to Correct” is issued by CHP and once corrected is to be returned to CHP (within 30 days). Methods of providing proof of correction are to have an officer of any approved law enforcement agency sign the back of your citation, have a representative of DMV sign the back of your citation (for certain registration and CDL violations), then bring copies of your proof directly to the court for the court file or mail copies of your proof to the court by the due date. DMV and/or the police agencies do not send the proof to the court.

Insurance Violations: A copy of the policy covering you or the vehicle being driven at the time that the citation was issued will need to be shown in order for it to be dismissed. If you did not have insurance at the time of the violation, you may show that you or the vehicle you were driving at the time is currently insured for a reduced fee. Police officers may not sign off this violation.


A citation requires that you and your guardian must appear in court on the date and time shown on the citation or your notice. You may request a continuance of this date by writing a letter to the court which must be received at least three court days prior to your court date.

Mandatory Appearance:

A citation that has a mandatory appearance requires that you or an attorney acting for you must appear in court on the date and time shown on your citation or notice to appear. You may request a continuance of this date by writing a letter to the court which must be received at least three court days prior to your court date.


There is not a district attorney or a public defender in the traffic courtroom in Placer County. If you are charged with an infraction and would like an attorney, you must contract with the attorney yourself. If you are charged with a misdemeanor and cannot afford an attorney, one may be appointed to you (for reduced fees).


Arraignment is when you will be advised of your rights and asked to enter a plea. Your options when entering a plea are traffic school, guilty, no contest or not guilty. Guilty and no contest are treated the same except that a no contest plea cannot be held against you in a civil action. A not guilty plea will result in the setting of a further court date for trial.


A continuance (extension) may be granted upon a written request in person at the clerk’s office. If you are mailing in a request for a continuance make sure that you have notified the court of any change of address. If you requested an interpreter for your court appearance, please call the court at 916-408-6000 to ensure the court is aware of your need for an interpreter on your new date. You may also reschedule your court date online one time.

Failure to appear/Failure to pay fine (§40508(a)/(b)/(c) CVC):

Failure to appear or to pay fines can result in one or more of the following penalties:

The issuance of a bench warrant

A bench warrant will only be issued on a misdemeanor charge. You may be arrested and held in jail until your arraignment or you may be required to sign a promise to appear in court at a further date.

The imposition of a civil assessment of $300.00

Per 1214.1 Penal Code, the court may impose a civil assessment of up to $300.00 against any defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court for any proceeding authorized by law or who fails to pay all or any portion of a fine ordered by the court.

A hold on your driving privilege and/or registration

If you fail to appear a hold may be placed against your driver’s license or registration. This hold may result in your driving privilege being suspended.

Your fine may be referred to Revenue Services for collection

Revenue Services may take such action as placing a lien on your payroll, bank accounts or federal tax returns unless you contact them to make arrangements for payments.


Clearing your Failure to Appear:


If you have failed to appear on a misdemeanor, then you must appear in court and be arraigned on your failure to appear. The Judge will order a fine for your failure to appear and once this amount is paid, plus $15.00 for an abstract fee (paid in cash), you can renew your drivers license. You may still be required to come back to court on some further date to provide proof of a valid drivers license. If you live more than 100 miles from court, you may write a letter to the court asking how to clear your failure to appear.


If you have failed to appear on an infraction, then you may pay the full fine that includes the original bail and may, depending on your case, include additional assessments for your failure to appear. If you need an abstract for DMV, there is also an additional $15.00 fee. This amount must be paid in the form of a money order or cash. (DO NOT MAIL CASH) If you believe that you have good cause for your failure to appear, you may request a court appearance. You do not need to pay in order to come to court.


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