How to fight a ticket for an illegal or unsafe turn in California

Posted on January 11, 2022 by John

California has some of the strictest moving violation standards in the country. With the number of cars on the road, you better be certain of the rules. If you’re not, you could end up with a ticket or other penalties. Most turn tickets involve illegal or unsafe U-Turns, although dangerous turns across traffic and the “pushing” of yellow caution lights can also elicit tickets. If you are a visitor to California, a plea of ignorance of a law will get you nowhere.

Illegal U-Turns

U-turns are legal in California in places where they may not be in other states. If you make an illegal turn in a residential, rural or business area, the base cost of the ticket (are you sitting down!) is around $234+. Note the +. It’s there for a reason. By the time you’re finished with fees and penalties, you could be looking at up to $400.

Trial by Declaration

  • File Trial by Declaration forms (online).
  • Submit the bail amount listed.
  • Traffic court delivers the decision in 30-90 days
  • If charges are dropped, bail is refunded
  • If not, traffic school may be offered to eliminate points, or you can continue to fight the ticket in court.

Note: Trial by Declaration documents can only be obtained from the traffic court listed on the ticket. You must write a letter before the court date listed on the ticket, officially plead not guilty and requesting forms (TR-200 & TR-206)  

Trial De Novo

You have 20 days from the date on the decision letter to file traffic court form TR-220 requesting a court trial, where you can present your defense.

Get Legal Input

Fighting a ticket alone is a lonely, frustrating battle. While you can negotiate the process yourself, it is wise to have an attorney to look things over. Remember, illegal turn tickets can end up costing you points and an increase in insurance premiums, not to mention time off from work if you choose to fight it. Filling out the forms alone can be challenging if you don’t know the law.

 One call to the Law Offices of David Leicht can clarify where you stand and provide the legal clarification you need. If you live in Barstow, San Bernardino County, or Mojave and have received an illegal turn ticket, call us now @ 760-256-3104 for a free case evaluation.

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