What are my options if I’m not the driver?

If someone else was driving a vehicle registered to you, you are not responsible for paying the ticket. The language on the ticket from our own government, which states that you must fill out the nomination form if you were not the driver, is deceitful at best and borderline unconstitutional, as it purposely fails to inform defendants of their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

At this point, you have the following options:

1. Fill out the nomination form and identify the actual driver (if possible). The ticket against you will be dismissed and it will be re-filed against the person you identify. If this is your significant other, child, parent, sibling, or friend, they will now have to deal with this outrageous fine and the effect on his or her driving record. Please note, you have a right to remain silent and you have no legal obligation to assist law enforcement in their investigation.

2. Pay the ticket yourself with the option of attending traffic school if you are eligible. Maybe you just want to bite the bullet, and save the other person the hassle. That’s nice, but not recommended.

3. Fight the ticket yourself. First, you will need to reserve a court date for your arraignment. Plan on getting to court early, as the lines are often long. Your ONLY options at this point will be to plead guilty, not guilty, or request traffic school. You will not have an opportunity to tell the judge your side of the story. A trial date will be set approximately six weeks out. You will be required to post bail prior to trial of at least $490. You must return to court six weeks later for trial. At that time you will be able to actually present your case of why you are not guilty. If you claim you were not the driver, the judge and/or prosecutor may ask you who the driver was, but you have a right to remain silent. If you are found not guilty your bail will be returned by mail in six to eight weeks.

4. Hire an experienced attorney. An attorney can make all appearances on your behalf and you will not need to take time off of work, school, or otherwise interrupt your life. Because an attorney has appeared on the case, the court will not require you to post any bail. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can make sure your case is handled correctly and the ticket is dismissed. In addition, it is important to make sure the ticket is not re-filed against the true driver – and a good attorney can help you prevent that potential contingency as well.

Even if you were the driver, an attorney may be able to reduce the infraction to a non-moving violation – meaning no point on your record even if you are not eligible for traffic school.

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Contact Me Today!

If you feel you have been charged with an unfair traffic infraction, or cannot afford the point on your record, contact the Law Office of Scott R. Ball today using this form right here.
Or Call: 1-714-547-7500

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