Taking Traffic School in California is a great option to have, however it should ONLY be used as a last resort in removing a point from your driving record. Most drivers are eligible for traffic school every 18 months for most infractions. But why waste the time and money on traffic school when you do not need to? We always recommend fighting your ticket first and completely removing it from your DMV report because if we beat the ticket you not only save the money on the ticket fine, but it will completely not show on your DMV record, in which case there will be no need to attend traffic school. The whole point of going to traffic school is that it removes the point off your DMV record, thus saving your insurance rates from increasing.
But what most people do not understand about traffic school, is that while it does remove the point off of your DMV record, it does not remove the ticket violation itself. So the ticket will still show up on you record as a “Confidential Conviction,” and your insurance company can still see it on your DMV report. This “Confidential Conviction” will be added to anything else that is on your record and could possibly affect (increase) your insurance rates. This is another reason that we say that traffic school is a great option to have…but it should only be taken as a last resort.
How Much Does Traffic School Cost In California?
Another fact about traffic school that most people do not realize, is that you will have to pay two fees: one fee must be paid directly to the court in order to be ABLE to take traffic school and the other fee must be paid directly to the traffic school itself. The court fees for traffic school are usually $50-70 depending on the particular courthouse in California. Traffic school fees can range from $25-$50. Thus traffic school will generally cost you around $100 extra on top of your ticket fine amount! And this is not to mention the 8 hours you will have to take out of your schedule to actually DO traffic school! As we said, traffic school is a great option to have…but only as a last resort.
Don’t They Deny Me Traffic School If I Fight My Ticket?
No. As long as you are eligible for traffic school (i.e. have not attended in last 18 months), then you have the right to attend. Commercial drivers who get tickets in their commercial vehicle are not eligible for traffic school unless they receive a ticket in their personal vehicle. Speeding tickets that are 25+ mph over the limit are not eligible for traffic school. If you contest your traffic infraction with a trial by written declaration, and happen to lose, the court will inform you at that time about how to attend traffic school. In some very rare cases (usually in Orange County), a judge will withhold traffic school from someone who was previously eligible. This should not happen according to VC 42005 and California Rule of Court 4.104(c)(z). Also see People v. Wozniak. In our experience, this happens in about 1 in 1000 people. And even in these rare cases, we can almost always get traffic school re-granted with a new trial also known as a trial de novo.
Did you know that lawyers at California Traffic Tickets can win your traffic ticket with an 80%+ success rate with NO traffic school and NO court appearances required by you! You save:
- The money on the ticket fine,
- The time/money from the burden of traffic school!
- The point from your DMV report,
- The rates on your insurance from skyrocketing, and,