If you've been stopped for speeding in California, the officer will
give you a copy of the citation. The citation will have the name and
contact information for the court that will handle your case, as well
as the court date. You then have a number of different options to deal
with the ticket:
- Pay the fine before your court date. This counts as an admission of
guilt, and the conviction will go on your record.
- Plead guilty and request to attend traffic violator school (TVS).
If the court grants your request, you'll still have to pay an amount
equal to the fine normally imposed for a guilty plea, but the
conviction won't go on your record, so your insurance rates won't
- Plead not guilty and request a trial. If you choose the option,
you'll go to court with the officer who ticketed you. If the officer
doesn't show, you may be able to get the ticket dismissed, or the judge
may reschedule the court date to give the officer another chance to
appear. It depends on the judge. It's important to note that in
California, you can plead not guilty and still request to be assigned
traffic school to keep the conviction off of your record if you lose
Whatever you do, don't ignore your California speeding ticket!
Ignoring it will not make it go away. The DMV will suspend your
driver's license for failure to appear (FTA), and you'll only have to
pay more money in the end. Another important thing to remember if
you've been caught speeding is that you need to do everything in your
power to protect your driving record. Sure, it might be faster just to
plead guilty and pay the fine, but remember, once you're done paying
the state, you'll have to deal with your insurance company.
Most insurance companies take a look at your California driving record
before each renewal, and you can expect a significant rate increase if
you have a speeding ticket. So, if it's an option for you, take traffic
school. You'll still have to fork over money to the state, but at least
you'll save on insurance. Driving University offers a convenient online
course that is approved for ticket dismissal by most California
municipal courts. Click here to see if we can help you keep your record