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Traffic


ANNOUNCING NEW SERVICE FOR TRAFFIC HEARINGS: REMOTE VIDEO PROCEEDINGS (RVP)

In a collaborative project with the Cities of Coalinga and Mendota, the Fresno Superior Court is starting Remote Video Proceedings (RVP). This free service is a convenience for motorists cited for traffic violations outside the Fresno-Clovis area and who must travel in excess of 15 miles from the location where they reside to the M Street Courthouse in downtown Fresno, they can appear in traffic court by videoconference from the cities of Coalinga or Mendota. Or, they can still appear in person at the M Street Courthouse, located at 2317 Tuolumne Street in Fresno. Click Here for Information


NEW: If you have a case currenlty in Collections or have received a notice for a Failure to Appear or Failure to Pay; please Click Here

You must clear your Traffic Citation timely. All of your options are listed in detail on the backside of your traffic citation.

  Traffic Court Location
2317 Tuolumne Street
Fresno, CA 93721

Telephone: (559) 457-1700
Hours: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

General Information

Traffic Bail Forfeiture

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General Information

You have received a citation in Fresno County. You must pay the bail listed on your courtesy notice or appear in court on or before the due date. This date is listed on the bottom of your citation and or on your courtesy notice. You have several options for resolving your case without appearing in court, unless your appearance is mandatory. If you wish to appear in court you must place yourself on calendar by 9:00 a.m. on the day you wish to appear.
WARNING: Failure to pay or appear may result in your bail being increased, a Civil Assessment being imposed, a hold being placed on your driver's license, and/or a warrant being issued for your arrest. In addition, the court will deem your failure to appear as an election to proceed with the case by trial by written declaration pursuant to Vehicle Code section 40903.

Traffic Bail Forfeiture

How do you deposit bail?
If you choose a statutory procedure for traffic cases that requires the deposit of bail (a statement of intent to plead not guilty, written not guilty plea, or trial by written declaration — see earlier discussions above) or if the court otherwise orders you to deposit bail, you will need to deposit bail with the court.

How is traffic bail forfeited?
A deposit of bail for a traffic infraction is forfeited (which means that you pay the court and do not get your money back) in the following ways:

1. When you do not challenge the ticket and choose to pay the traffic bail. If you choose to pay the ticket, send your payment and a copy of the ticket or the courtesy notice to the court. Do not send your original copy of the ticket. When the court receives your payment, if the offense does not require an appearance in court, your case will be closed. It will appear as a conviction on your DMV driving record. You will get points on your driving record and your insurance company may raise your insurance payment or cancel your policy.

2. When you pay bail before arraignment or trial and are found guilty. If you are found guilty at trial and you paid bail before your trial, the court will apply the bail deposit to payment of the fine, penalties, and fees. If the total is less than the amount you paid, the court will mail a refund. If the total is more than the bail deposit, you will owe the additional money. If you are unable to pay, you may ask for community service (Penal Code section 1209.5) or a reduction based on your inability to pay and a payment plan (Vehicle Code section 42003).

3. When you pay bail before arraignment or trial and then fail to appear in court. If you fail to appear as promised, the court can declare your bail deposit forfeited and report a conviction on your DMV driving record.

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Contesting Your Citation

1.When traffic bail is not required:
You have the right to appear in court for arraignment to contest the alleged traffic infraction without prior deposit of bail. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.105.) If you choose NOT to post bail under the options described under #2, below, you must appear as instructed on the citation, even if you do not receive a courtesy notice. When you appear for an arraignment hearing, you will enter a plea. If you plead not guilty at arraignment, you may ask for a court trial on a separate date.

The court may require payment of bail at arraignment before trial if:

  • you do not sign a promise to appear as ordered by the court, or
  • the court finds (and states the reasons for the findings) that, based on the circumstances of your particular case, you are unlikely to appear without a deposit of bail.
(Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.105(c).)

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2.When traffic bail is required:

A.Post (pay) and forfeit bail:
If you do not wish to challenge your traffic citation and there is no mandatory court appearance, you must pay the bail for noncorrectable violations and provide proof of correction and pay the fees for any correctable violations by the due date on the citation. The court will report a conviction for any noncorrectable violations to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

B.State your intention to plead not guilty and request a trial date:
If you want to plead not guilty and schedule a court trial, you may tell the court, in person or in writing, that you intend to plead not guilty. Your case will be set for an arraignment and trial date on the same day, unless you request arraignment and trial on separate days. To take advantage of this convenience, deposit of traffic bail is required. (See Vehicle Code section 40519(a).) If you are found not guilty at trial, your bail will be returned.

C.Plead not guilty in writing and request a trial date:
If you want to plead not guilty in writing and schedule a court trial, you may do so by mail or in person with the clerk. Your case will be set for an arraignment and trial date on the same day, unless you request arraignment and trial on separate days. To take advantage of this convenience, deposit of traffic bail is required. (See Vehicle Code section 40519(b).) If you are found not guilty at trial, your bail will be returned.

D.Trial by written declaration:
You may avoid all court appearances by choosing to have a trial by written declaration. This means that that instead of going to court to contest your case, you and the citing officer provide testimony and any evidence in writing. (See Vehicle Code section 40902.) You must post the bail amount to use this procedure. If you are found not guilty, your bail will be returned. (See further discussion below, under “Trial by Written Declaration,” for more information about this procedure.)

How can I plead not guilty and challenge my ticket?
Your options to challenge your infraction ticket include:

  • Request an arraignment (no bail required) and request a trial at your arraignment
  • Exercise your option to notify the court of your intent to plead not guilty and set court appearances under Vehicle Code section 40519(a) (bail required);
  • Exercise your option to submit a not guilty plea in writing and schedule appearance in court under Vehicle Code section 40519(b) (bail required); or
  • Request a trial by written declaration under Vehicle Code section 40902 (bail required).

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Arraignment and Court Trial

What is an arraignment?
Your court appearances for your traffic infraction ticket will include an arraignment and, if requested, a court trial. Unless you elect one of the statutory arraignment alternatives described under #2 above, you are not required to deposit bail to appear for arraignment. At an arraignment in court, the judicial officer will explain what the charges are, inform you of your rights, and ask you if you want to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest (also called “nolo contendere”). If you say “not guilty,” the judicial officer will give you a date for a court trial by a judicial officer without a jury.

At arraignment you may ask for a court trial without deposit of bail. If you request a trial at your arraignment in court, you will not have to deposit bail unless you do not sign a promise to appear as required by the court or the court makes a finding that you are unlikely to appear without a deposit of bail and states the reasons for the finding.

If you are able to post bail, you may choose the convenience of avoiding multiple appearances for your arraignment and court trial. In order to have the convenience of deciding how you wish to appear for arraignment and trial, you must pay bail as required by Vehicle Code section 40519. Most people who choose this procedure do so because they want to take care of their ticket with one court appearance. However, you also have the option under section 40519 to schedule an arraignment and trial for separate days.

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What is a court trial?
In traffic infraction cases, a judicial officer will hear your case instead of a jury. For your arraignment and court trial, you can hire an attorney to represent you for your case or appear on your own without an attorney. The court is not authorized to appoint an attorney for infraction cases unless the defendant is in custody. If you require an interpreter, please let the court clerk know as early as possible before your court trial.

Under Penal Code sections 17(d) and 19.8, if certain offenses are charged as an infraction instead of as a misdemeanor, you can ask that the infraction charge be tried with a jury as a misdemeanor. However, jail may be part of the sentence in a misdemeanor case, unlike infractions where the sentence is limited to a fine. If possible, talk to an attorney before you make this decision to make sure you are doing what is best for you.

For help finding an attorney: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1001.htm

At your court trial, the police officer will state why he or she gave you the ticket.
You or your attorney can:

  • Question the officer who gave you the ticket,
  • Bring witnesses,
  • Present evidence, and
  • Argue the law.

If you are found not guilty and you paid bail before the trial, the full amount will be mailed to you. If you are found guilty and you paid bail before the trial, the court will apply the bail money to the fine. If the fine is less than the bail deposit, any balance to be refunded will be mailed to you by the court. If the fine is more than the bail deposit, you will be responsible for paying the balance due or requesting community service (Penal Code section 1209.5), a payment plan, or a reduction based on inability to pay (Vehicle Code section 42003).

If you disagree with the court’s decision, you may file an appeal. Read the Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions (Form CR-141-INFO) for instructions on how to appeal infractions.

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How do I ask for a court trial?
You may request an arraignment and court trial in person or in writing to contest your ticket for a traffic infraction. You have a right to an arraignment without payment of bail, but in some circumstances the court can require you to deposit bail before your trial. (See discussion above under “Contesting Your Traffic Ticket.”)

1.In-person request for a trial

A.You may ask the clerk in person at the court to appear for an arraignment in court and court trial, consisting of multiple appearances.

  • Your arraignment may happen on the same day that you make your request. If not, you may be required to sign a promise to appear for the arraignment date.
  • You will not need to deposit traffic bail for a trial unless:
    • you elect a statutory procedure that requires the deposit of bail;
    • you refuse to sign a promise to appear as required by the court; or
    • the court finds and states the reasons for the findings at arraignment that, based on your particular case, you are unlikely to appear for trial without a deposit of bail.

B.You may ask the clerk in person at the court to schedule a court trial, consisting of either a single appearance (arraignment and trial on the same day) or multiple appearances (arraignment and trial on separate days). This option is a convenience to you that requires deposit of traffic bail when you make this request. (Vehicle Code section 40519(a).)

2.Written request for trial

You may choose to ask in writing for a court trial, consisting of either a single appearance (arraignment and trial on the same day) or multiple appearances (arraignment and trial on separate days). This option is a convenience to you that requires deposit of traffic bail with your written request (Vehicle Code section 40519(b).)

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Trial By Written Declaration

What is a trial by written declaration?
Vehicle Code section 40902 allows a defendant to challenge traffic infraction citations in writing, without having to appear in person at court. This procedure is called a “trial by written declaration.” Trials by written declaration are available in cases involving infraction violations of the Vehicle Code or of local ordinances adopted under the Vehicle Code.

Are you eligible to request a trial by written declaration?
If you have been charged with a traffic infraction or a violation of a local ordinance adopted under the Vehicle Code, you can request a trial by written declaration unless you were issued a ticket for an offense involving alcohol or drugs or the violation requires a mandatory appearance in court.

Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • You were issued a ticket for infraction violations only;
  • The due date to take care of your ticket has not passed; and
  • Your ticket or courtesy notice does not say that you must appear in court.

How do you ask for a trial by written declaration?
You can ask for your trial by written declaration in person at the clerk’s office or by mail sent to the courthouse address listed on your ticket.

If you mail your request and enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope, the court will mail you instructions and a form entitled Request for Trial by Written Declaration (Form TR-205). The top portion of the form you receive should be filled out by the court clerk with important information. Read it carefully. Once you get the form and instructions, you can fill out the paperwork.

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Is payment of bail required for a trial by written declaration?
Yes. Vehicle Code section 40902 requires that you deposit bail in order to have a trial by written declaration. Deposit of bail is the choice you make for the convenience of not having to travel and appear in court to resolve your traffic ticket.

What happens in a trial by written declaration?
Choosing to have your trial by written declaration means that instead of going to court to contest your case, you and the officer file statements and any evidence in writing.

Evidence may include:

  • The “Notice to Appear” ticket;
  • A business record or receipt;
  • A sworn declaration of the citing officer;
  • A written statement or letter signed by the defendant; and/or
  • Any written statements or letters signed by witnesses.

IMPORTANT: By filing a declaration in a trial by written declaration, you are waiving and giving up the rights to remain silent and not incriminate yourself, and the right to a public and speedy trial. You are also waiving the right to appear in person before a judicial officer, except that you will have a right to a new trial (also called “trial de novo”) in court if you disagree with the court’s decision in your trial by written declaration (see further discussion below).

For more information on trial by written declaration, read the Instructions to Defendant (Trial by Written Declaration—Traffic) (Form TR-200).

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What is the procedure for a trial by written declaration?
Here is a checklist for having a trial by written declaration.

  • Fill out your court forms. Fill out the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (Form TR-205). Attach a written statement of what happened and make sure to include details. If you are going to attach evidence like photographs or diagrams, explain in your written statement what evidence you are attaching.

For your written statement you can use a form called Declaration (Form MC-030) and, if you need more room to complete your statement, a form called Attached Declaration (Form MC-031). If you do not use these forms, make sure you write, at the end of your statement: “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that this statement is true and correct.” Print your name, and sign and date the statement. You can also use these forms if you have witnesses that want to write statements. Your witnesses’ statements must also be signed under penalty of perjury.

  • Enclose your bail payment. You must include payment of your bail amount (which is the amount shown on your courtesy notice or provided by the clerk) with your Request for Trial by Written Declaration (Form TR-205). Use a check or money order. DO NOT SEND CASH.
  • Make an extra copy of all your forms. These copies are for your records. If you prepare your statement without using a court form, make sure to keep at least one copy of it. And keep a copy of any statements made by your witnesses. Keep your paperwork in a safe place.
  • Mail the original of your forms to the court clerk by the due date. Mail the signed Request for Trial by Written Declaration, your statement(s), and any evidence to the court clerk.
  • The police officer will provide a written statement. When the clerk receives your Request for Trial by Written Declaration, the clerk will let the police officer who issued your citation know. The officer will then have the opportunity to submit a declaration about the citation by the due date.
  • The court will make a decision by a specific due date. A judicial officer will review the papers filed by you and the officer and make a decision on your case. You will get the court’s decision by mail telling you whether you were found guilty or not guilty.

If you are found guilty, the court notice will state the amount of the fine, penalties, and fees and will order that it to be paid from your bail deposit. If the amount you owe is more than the bail you paid, the court will give you a deadline to pay the balance. If the amount you owe is less than the bail you paid, the balance will be refunded to you (or to the person who paid the bail if someone else paid it) by mail.

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If you are found not guilty, the court will refund the bail money to you (or to the person who paid the bail if someone else paid it) by mail.

  • If you are not satisfied with the court’s decision, you can ask for a new trial (called a “trial de novo”) in court. When you ask for a new trial, you and the other parties will have to personally go to court for that trial. You have 20 days after the court’s decision was mailed to you to ask for a new trial. The court will start over completely in deciding your case based on the testimony and evidence presented at the court trial and is not limited by the sentence imposed in the trial by written declaration.

For a trial de novo in court, you will have the following rights:

  • To be represented by an attorney employed by you;
  • To have a public trial;
  • To testify, to present evidence, and to use court orders without cost to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence on your behalf;
  • To have the witnesses against you testify under oath in court, and to question such witnesses;
  • To remain silent and not testify and not incriminate yourself.

For a trial de novo in court, fill out a Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo) (Form TR-220).

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Payment Options:

Pay bail amount through the following methods:

  1. Pay Online by using a credit card
  2. Monthly Installment Plan
    • Additional administrative fee of $35.00 added at time of request for monthly installment payments.
    • Minimum payment: $50.00/monthly.
    • Request can be made:
      By mail. DO NOT SEND CASH
      In person. Refer to location listed on the bottom of your citation
  3. Mail in your payment to avoid the long traffic court lines.
    • Make check/money order out to "Fresno Superior Court"
    • Write your citation/case number on your check or money order to insure proper placement.
    • If requesting a receipt, provide a self addressed, stamped envelope.

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Correctable Violations/Proof of Correction

The Court will dismiss certain violation after PROOF OF CORRECTION is shown and payment of a $25.00 transaction fee per correctable violation:

  • If the "yes" box is checked on the front of your citation, the violation is correctable. Upon correction of the violation, have a law enforcement officer or an authorized inspection/installation station agent sign your copy of the citation {pursuant to VC 401616}.
  • Registration and driver license violations may also be certified as corrected at an office of the Department of Motor Vehicles or by any clerk of the court.
  • Violations of Vehicle Code Section 16028[a] (automobile liability insurance) will be dismissed only upon (1) your showing or mailing to the court evidence of financial responsibility valid at the time this notice to appear was issued and (2) the $25.00 transaction fee. The court does allow for a reduction of bail if insurance is obtained after the date of violation.

Advisement: Fraudulent or altered documentation may be referred to the Office of the District Attorney for a full investigation and possible criminal prosecution.

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Traffic School

Who is eligible

A court clerk is authorized to grant a request to attend Traffic School when a defendant with a valid driver’s license makes a request to attend an 8-hour Traffic Violator School as a pretrial diversion under VC 41501(b) and 42005 for any infraction under Divisions 11 and 12 (rules of the road and equipment violations) of the Vehicle Code, if the violation is reportable to the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you meet the following requirements, you may be eligible to attend Traffic School:
  • You must not have attended traffic school on a prior citation issued within 18 months of the issue date of your present citation.
  • You have a valid driver’s license.

Who is not eligible

A court clerk is not authorized to grant a request for Traffic School for any following infractions:
  • Misdemeanor Violations.
  • A violation that carries a negligent operator point of more than one point under VC 12810 or more than one and one-half point under VC 12810.5(b)(2).
  • A violation that occurs within 18 months after the date of a previous violation and the defendant either attended or elected to attend Traffic School for the previous violation (VC 1808.7).
  • A violation of VC 22406.5 (tank vehicles).
  • A violation related to alcohol/drug use or possession.
  • A violation on which the defendant failed to appear under VC 40508(a) unless the failure-to-appear charge has been adjudicated and any fine imposed has been paid.
  • A violation on which the defendant has failed to appear under PC 1214.1 unless the civil monetary assessment has been paid.
  • A speeding violation in which the alleged speed is greater than 100 miles per hour (commencing with section 22348{b} of the Vehicle Code).
  • You have a commercial driver's license, and you are in a commercial vehicle.

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Process to follow

If you meet the requirements and would like to attend Traffic School, you will be required to complete the following steps:

Note: At this time, the Court is unable to accept on-line payment for traffic school. If you wish to attend traffic school you must pay in person or by mail.

  • Make a request to the Court
    Requests to attend Traffic School can be made in person at the "M" Street Courthouse or by mail to the following address:
    Fresno Superior Court
    "M" Street Courthouse
    2317 Tuolumne Street
    Fresno, CA 93721-1220
  • Pay Bail amount plus administrative fee. These amounts will be listed on your courtesy notice.
    This can be done in person or by mail.
    • Make check or money order payable to: Fresno Superior Court.
    • Mailing Address: 1100 Van Ness Avenue, Fresno, CA 93724
    Upon receipt of your payment and Traffic School request, you will be provided with a list of Department of Motor Vehicles certified schools in your area, including websites.
  • Choose a Department of Motor Vehicle approved/accredited traffic school course
    Contact the school and arrange to attend a session. Traffic Schools are private businesses and, as such, charge fees to attend.
    • To access the official DMV list of approved Traffic Violator Schools (once you have paid your traffic citation), please go to the "traffic school list" section at: http://www.dmv.ca.gov./olinq2/welcome.do
  • Attend Traffic School
    The Court will allow the customer 60 days from sign-up date to complete Traffic School. Upon completion, the traffic school will electronically inform the Court of your completion.

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Juvenile Traffic Citation

An appearance is not needed for Juvenile Traffic citations if the violation is marked "correctable." These may be cleared by visiting any Traffic counter, or through the mail by providing the signed-off citation and the $25.00 transaction fee per correctable violation.

The following Traffic violation bail may be posted in lieu of a court appearance:

  • Seat Belt
    VC 27315(d)
    VC27315 (e)
    VC27315.3
  • Pedestrian Crossing
    VC21953
    VC21954
    VC21955
  • Jay Walking
    VC21955
  • Bike Riding on the Mall
    MC10-1813 (a)

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Parking Citation

To pay a Fresno County Parking Citation mail your payment to:

County of Fresno
Parking Citation Service Center
P. O. Box 11458
Fresno, CA. 93773-1458
Phone number: 1-800-535-2421 or 488-6785
OR
Parking & Security Department
2220 Tulare Street, Plaza Level
Fresno, CA. 93721

To pay a Fresno City Parking Citation mail your payment to:

City of Fresno Parking Services
2600 Fresno Street, Rm. 4019
Fresno, CA. 93721
Phone number: 559-621-7275
OR
City of Fresno Processing Center
P. O. Box 1090
San Jose, CA. 95108

To pay a California State University Parking Citation mail your payment to:

University Police Department
2311 East Barstow Avenue M/S PO14
Fresno, CA 93740-4008
Phone number: 559-278-2950

To pay a State Center Community College Parking Citation mail your payment to:

State Center Community College
Parking Administration
P. O. Box 25120
Santa Ana, CA 92799-5120
Phone number: 244-5948 or 442-8201

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The Affect A Ticket has on Your DMV Record

After you pay your fine, points may show up on your Department of Motor Vehicle's record unless you go to Traffic School. Both you and the violation must qualify before you are able to attend. If you do attend Traffic School, you must turn in your proof of completion to the Court before the deadline. If this is done the citation will be reported to the DMV as a confidential conviction.

NOTICE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. One conviction in any 18-month period (from violation date to violation date) will be held confidential and not show on your driving record if you complete a traffic violator school program.

The Department of Motor Vehicles can suspend your driver’s license for the following reasons:

  1. A drunk driving arrest.
  2. High point count – you may be considered a negligent operator by the Department of Motor Vehicles based on your driving record.
  3. Evidence based upon a physical or mental condition of the licensee, which may affect the ability of the licensee to safely operate a motor vehicle.
  4. Failure to clear a traffic citation timely. (This will result in a Department Of Motor Vehicle’s Failure to Appear Hold on your license and/or car registration.)
  5. Failure to pay a traffic fine. (This will result in a Department of Motor Vehicle’s Failure To Pay Hold on your driver’s license and/or car registration.)

 

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  Court Public Service Announcement

Click below to view a Public Service Announcement about Traffic that is part of a series developed through a grant provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts. The series entitled, "Meet the Court," is intended to provide you with quick information and education about Family Court Services, and has been developed in both English and Spanish.

Click to language version you wish to play. All files less than 2.5MB in size.

Traffic: English / Español


Our Mission

The Traffic Department will effectively communicate court directives and provide services to the judges, commissioners, and the public in a professional, courteous, expedient and impartial manner, thereby creating a solid foundation of public trust and confidence in the abilities of our department.

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