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Traffic Glossary
Abstract A summary of what the Court or government agency has done.
AppealA request made to a higher court to review a decision or ruling by a lower court. An appeal is limited to addressing errors of law only. An appeal is not a retrial, and you will not be permitted to introduce new evidence
Arraignment Hearing Court appearance where a person is advised of the charges pending against them and is asked to enter either a plea of "guilty," "no contest," or "not guilty".
Automated Citation Device (ACD)A handheld device used by enforcement officers in the field to submit a traffic citation electronically.
BailTotal amount paid to the court for a traffic citation. This includes fines, penalty assessments, and mandated fees.
Bail ForfeitureBail is retained by the court if the defendant does not appear in court. This closes the case.
Base Fine Fine for a violation as determined by statute, legislation or by court order.
Bench Warrant A judge's order to arrest and bring a person to court because the person has failed to appear in court when they were supposed to or failed to obey a court order.
CaseA lawsuit or a complaint filed in Criminal, Traffic, or Civil court.
CitationA ticket issued at the scene of an incident by a law enforcement officer requiring payment of a fine or an appearance before a judicial officer within a certain amount of time to answer for the violation.
Civil AssessmentFee assigned against a defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court for any proceeding or who fails to pay all or any portion of the fine ordered by the Court.
Collections Citations with unpaid fines and fees may be referred to a collection agency for further action. The collections fees are added to the original fine amount.
Court Appointed Counsel Private attorney appointed by the court to provide representation to someone who cannot afford a lawyer.
Court TrialA trial without a jury. A judicial officer decides the case.
Courtesy NoticeForm mailed to the address listed on the citation within 3 to 4 weeks of the date the ticket was issued. The courtesy notice contains general information and available options for resolving the ticket. The courtesy notice is not required by law and failure to receive one is not a valid excuse for failing to take care of your case.
CustodyLaw enforcement officials' act of holding an accused or convicted person in criminal proceedings, beginning with the arrest of that person.
Declaration A written statement made "under penalty of perjury" and signed by the person making the statement.
DefendantThe person accused of the crime.
DefenseThe reasons why a defendant should not be convicted of the charge(s).
DMV Traffic Violators Schools ListGet a list of Statewide licensed DMV Traffic Violator Schools, including classroom, home study, and online schools from this link or go to any traffic court location.
Evidence Any proof legally presented at trial through witnesses, records, and/or exhibits.
Failure To AppearNot appearing at the courthouse or before the judicial officer in court at the scheduled date and time.
FineA sum of money required to be paid as a penalty for an offense.
Fix-It TicketA common name for a traffic ticket given for a malfunction on a vehicle, like a broken taillight. After fixing the problem, the vehicle owner has to get a police officer to sign the ticket to show the problem is taken care of. The proof of correction and a fee must be submitted to the court.
ForfeitedTo lose property or rights involuntarily as a penalty for violation of law.
Infractions A crime that can be punished by a fine, traffic school, or some form of community service but not by time in jail or prison.
Infraction TicketA citation issued for a minor violation of a law or local regulation.
Issuing Agency Law enforcement agency that issues the ticket.
Judicial OfficerJudges, referees, judge pro tems, and commissioners that make court decisions as a judicial officer.
Law Enforcement AgencyAn agency responsible for ensuring obedience to the laws for example, Police Department, Sherriff's Office, California Highway Patrol, etc.
Law Enforcement Officer An employee of a Police Department, the Sheriff's Department, or the California Highway Patrol who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the law.
Local OrdinanceA law passed by a city or county.
MisdemeanorA crime that can be punished by jail time of up to one year, but not by time in state prison. Punishment can also include fines.
Notice To AppearA ticket/citation issued that requires an appearance in court. Depending on the specific circumstances, the appearance can be through the mail, internet, phone system, or before a clerk.
Parking AgencyLocal or municipal enforcement agency that processes parking tickets.
Parking TicketA citation issued for a parking violation. Parking tickets are not criminal violations and are not heard by the court.
Pay Ticket OnlineYou can pay your ticket online
Penalty AssessmentAn amount which is required by law to be added to all fines.
AssessmentAn amount which is required by law to be added to all fines.
Pro PerRefers to persons that present their own cases in court without lawyers; from the Latin for "in one's own proper person".
ProsecutorAn attorney who tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
Judge Pro TemAn attorney who volunteers his or her time to hear and decide small claims court cases. Also called a temporary judge.
Request ExtensionsIf eligible, you can obtain an extension on your ticket to appear at the court location you were cited to on the front of your citation
Request Traffic SchoolYou can signup for Traffic School online if you are eligible
Reserve a Court DateYou can schedule an arraignment date to appear in court before a judicial officer
Restitution Requiring return of stolen goods to the victim or payment to the victim for harm caused.
Sign-OffOfficial agreement that a condition has been met.
StipulateTo agree to something; to give one's consent.
SubpoenaAn official order to go to court at a stated time. Subpoenas are commonly used to tell witnesses to come to court to testify in a trial.
SubpoenaedAn official order to go to court at a stated time. Subpoenas are commonly used to tell witnesses to come to court to testify in a trial.
Summary TrialProceedings are based on the ticket only. The officer who issued the ticket does not appear.
Superior CourtThe trial court in each county of the State of California. This court hears all adoption, Family Law, Juvenile, Criminal, Civil, Small Claims, Traffic, and Probate cases.
Search by Drivers LicenseYou can search for the status of your ticket using your driver's license number and your birth date.
Search by Ticket NumberYou can search for your ticket using the ticket number, law enforcement agency, court location and date of birth.
Temporary Judge An attorney that volunteers his or her time to hear and decide cases. Also called a "judge pro tem".
TicketNotice that a parking, infraction, or misdemeanor violation has occurred. Usually a fine must be paid and/or a court appearance must be made.
Traffic SchoolA remedial course in traffic safety and safe driving practices. Can be offered to traffic violators by traffic courts in the interest of improving general safety.
Trial By Written DeclarationProceedings where written statements explaining the facts of the case are used to determine the outcome of the case.
Trial De NovoA new trial. De novo is Latin for "anew," which means starting over.
Vehicle CodeThe collection of written laws which deals with motor vehicle regulations.
ViolationA breaking of the law.
Waive TimeAgree to give up right to a trial within the time limit specified.
WarrantA court order for an arrest.
WitnessesA person who has seen or can give first-hand evidence of some event.
Interpreter RequestYou can request an interpreter for your Traffic case.
Schedule Traffic Clerk AppointmentFor faster service regarding your traffic matter, schedule an appointment before visiting the court.
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