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Traffic

The Traffic Unit of the Criminal Division handles violations of traffic laws and other minor offenses of state and county ordinances. These violations are considered infractions and include, for example, speeding, cell phones, expired registrations and dog licenses. Infractions are enforced by the issuance of citations (“tickets”) by law enforcement. Punishment for infractions requires payment of fines and does not carry any potential jail or prison time. In many circumstances, you may pay your fine without appearing in court. For additional information, please see menus below or click here.


Location

Main Courthouse, 1500 Court Street, Room 219, Redding CA 96001 -  Map
Office Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

(530) 245-6789
(530) 999-2003 Fax
(530) 245-6782 Traffic School

FIND INFORMATION ABOUT

Child Safety Restraints

If you are charged with a failure to properly use a child safety seat (Vehicle Code sections 27360 or 27360.5 – mandatory use of child passenger restraints required), a Judge or Commissioner may find you eligible for a reduction in your fine upon completion of a Child Restraint Class offered by Shasta County Public Health. If you are interested in further information about this option, contact the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office before the due date on your citation to schedule a court appearance.


Civil Assessment

If you fail to appear to resolve your citation, or fail to pay any fine amount ordered, a civil assessment of $300 may be imposed on you pursuant to Penal Code section 1214.1. You will be mailed a Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Assessment prior to the assessment being imposed, and may file a written petition to vacate or reduce the assessment within 20 days of the date on the Notice of Intent to Impose Civil Assessment. A petition form may be found here, and the instruction sheet here.


Community Service

You may perform community service hours to satisfy your fine. You must sign up in person at the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office. Scheduling is then done through the Probation Department who charges an administrative fee for the service. Credit toward your fine is given at $50.00 per each 8-hour workday.


Contesting a Judicial Decision

An appeal may be filed within 30 days only after being found guilty in a court trial. New evidence is not accepted on appeal. The appellate court’s decision deals only with the evidence offered and decisions made at the time of trial. Forms required to file an appeal may be obtained on the Judicial Council Forms website.

A request for new trial after being found guilty by Trial by Declaration ("Trial de Novo") must be made by filing Judicial Council form TR220 within 20 days after the date the court’s decision was mailed. The TR220 form can be obtained on the Judicial Council Forms website.


Court Appearances and Trial Options

Arraignment: An initial court proceeding at which time you may appear in person to plead guilty, guilty with an explanation, no contest, or not guilty to the violation(s) on your citation.

Court Trial: A court proceeding in which you appear in person to testify about the facts of your case. The officer who issued the citation will be subpoenaed to appear. You have the right to subpoena witnesses and to have a lawyer present, if you retain one.

  1. You may request an arraignment date to enter a plea (not guilty, guilty or no contest) without a deposit of bail/fine. If you request an arraignment date without posting bail/fine, and plead not guilty at arraignment (contest your citation), you may at that time also request to have a separate court trial scheduled without deposit of bail/fine, unless the court states a specific reason for requiring bail. The arraigning bench officer will schedule your trial date, and you will be required to return to court on that date. The officer who cited you will be notified to be present on your trial date.
  2. If you want to contest your citation and wish to avoid multiple court appearances, you may request that your arraignment and trial be held on the same date by one of the options below. To request a combined arraignment/trial date, you must pay the amount due by the date on your courtesy notice. The officer who cited you will be notified to be present on your combined arraignment/trial date.
    1. You may request a combined arraignment and trial date by declaring your intent to plead not guilty under VC 40519(a), understanding that paying the bail/fine amount does not constitute entry of a plea and that a plea of not guilty must still be made at the time you appear for arraignment/trial. Upon receipt of your request and payment of the amount due, the court will notify you of your combined arraignment/trial date by email or by U.S. Mail.
    2. You may request a combined arraignment and trial date by submitting your bail/fine amount. Pursuant to VC 40519(b), your request shall constitute your written not guilty plea to the charge(s) indicated on the courtesy notice and you will be waiving your right to be tried within the statutory period.

*IMPORTANT: Selection of this option requires the courtesy notice and amount due be presented to the court clerk in person, or be sent by certified or registered mail postmarked not later than five days before the due date. Upon receipt of the courtesy notice and payment of the amount due, the court will notify you of your combined arraignment/trial date by email or by mail.

DO NOT PAY YOUR CITATION ONLINE OR THROUGH THE AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM IF YOU ARE CONTESTING YOUR CITATION.


Financial Hardship / Ability to Pay Determination

If you have a financial hardship and can show that you are unable to pay the full amount for the offenses on your citation, you may request the court to consider your ability to pay in setting the fine amount. However, you must appear before the court to do so. You can contact the clerk at (530) 245-6789 to schedule an ability to pay determination hearing. If you are ordered to pay a fine, you may also ask the court for an installment payment plan that is based on your ability to pay, or ask the clerk to approve community service due to financial hardship.


Trial by Declaration

If you want to contest your citation without a personal appearance, you may request a Trial by Written Declaration (court trial by mail) and will not need to appear in court. This option applies to Vehicle Code violations and certain other infractions, and is not offered in cases that involve accidents or require a mandatory court appearance. If you request a Trial by Declaration, you must pay the amount due for Trial by Declaration at the time you submit the declaration forms. If found not guilty, or if the case is otherwise dismissed, your bail/fine will be refunded by mail within 30 days.

DO NOT PAY YOUR CITATION ONLINE OR THROUGH THE AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM IF YOU ARE REQUESTING A TRIAL BY DECLARATION.

  • If you are found guilty, your bail deposit will be applied toward the fine imposed.
  • If you are found not guilty, your bail will be refunded by mail to the depositor at the address listed on the case.

Courtesy Notices

A courtesy notice is mailed to the address listed on the citation/ticket. PLEASE NOTE: It may take up to four weeks after you receive your citation/ticket before you receive a courtesy notice from the court. The court must first receive the citation/ticket from the citing law enforcement agency before a courtesy notice can be generated and mailed. If you do not get a courtesy notice by the date written at the bottom of your citation/ticket, you must contact the court. Failure to recieve a courtesy notice does not relieve you of the responsibility to resolve your citation/ticket.

A courtesy notice contains general information about requirements and options available to you for resolving your citation/ticket. If you have received the courtesy notice, you do not need to appear on the date at the bottom of your citation/ticket, but you must resolve the citation/ticket on or before the due date listed on the courtesy notice.

Failure to respond to the courtesy notice by the due date may result in an additional misdemeanor charge with an increased bail/fine amount, a hold being placed on your driver’s license and/or a warrant being issued for your arrest. Your citation/ticket may also be referred to the Court Collection Division for collection of payment due, with an additional $300 Civil Assessment being imposed (PC 1214.1).

Make sure to carefully review both sides of the courtesy notice. It will include the following information:

  • due date
  • amount of bail/fine (based on the violations and your prior driving history)
  • proof of correction requirements, if applicable
  • mandatory court appearance requirements, if applicable
  • traffic school information, if applicable
  • Court Trial and Trial by Written Declaration information

Extensions
  • One 30-day extension may be obtained by mail, phone, or in person.
  • Extensions are not allowed on citations that require a mandatory court appearance.
  • Extensions are not allowed once the due date has passed.

Failure to Appear/Failure to Pay

If you receive a notice from the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) informing you that a Failure to Appear (FTA) hold has been issued on your driver’s license, you may clear the FTA by one of the following three methods:

  • Pay the entire bail amount, OR
  • Arrange a monthly installment payment plan, OR
  • Appear in court.

The hold on your license shall be removed from your DMV record the business day following receipt of your payment or your court appearance. For further information on how to pay your citation, refer to the "Payment Options" section below.


Frequently Asked Questions
Can I attend Traffic School in my county of residence?

Yes, if it is on the list of approved Traffic Schools from Shasta County.

How do I sign up for Traffic School?

Either by mail or in person.

Is the date at the bottom of my citation a court date?

Infractions (most traffic violations and other types of minor offenses) do not require a mandatory court appearance; rather, the date at the bottom of the citations is a date by which you promise to contact the court. Under most circumstances, you will receive a courtesy notice containing further information and directions prior to that date. *If you do not receive a courtesy notice prior to the date at the bottom of the citation, you must contact the court on or before that date.

If I sign a payment plan, can I still set a court date and request that my fine be reduced?

No, by signing a payment plan, you are admitting guilt to the charges and promising to pay the full fine amount.


Infractions

An infraction is a violation of, or failure to comply with, certain provisions of the Vehicle Code, local ordinance or other law or statute. An infraction is not punishable by imprisonment; the maximum sentence on most infractions is a $250 fine (plus assessments and fees). You may not be sentenced to alternate jail time on an infraction and cannot have a trial by jury.


Juvenile Citations

The Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office processes juvenile cases involving infractions only. Juvenile case information is confidential; therefore, information will not be accessible through our automated phone system. If you wish to forfeit bail/fine, and you are eligible to do so, a parent or legal guardian must complete and sign the courtesy notice. You must speak with a clerk to obtain any additional information regarding juvenile cases.

In many circumstances, the fine on a juvenile infraction citation/ticket can be paid without appearing in court. Citations/tickets that do not require a mandatory appearance or proof of correction typically can be paid using our online payment service, by mail, or directly with the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office. Refer to “TO PAY YOUR CITATION/TICKET (BAIL FORFEITURE)” for more information on paying your citation.


Payment Options

TO PAY YOUR TICKET (BAIL FORFEITURE)

You may pay your citation/ticket by bail forfeiture with no further action necessary. Upon payment of the amount due for bail forfeiture as shown on your courtesy notice, the case will be closed. If reportable, the conviction will be forwarded to the DMV.

Online: You may be eligible to pay your full bail/fine amount online by credit card at our Online Services page. You must know your citation/ticket number.

Mail: You may handle most transactions through the mail. To pay your bail/fine by mail, send a check or money order (U.S. dollars) made payable to SHASTA SUPERIOR COURT prior to your due date. Write your docket number and the name of the person who received the citation on the check or money order to ensure proper credit.

Telephone: You may also pay your bail/fine by telephone using your credit card. You must know your citation/ticket number and submit your payment prior to your due date. To pay your citation by telephone, call (530) 245-6789. Select the Traffic Unit option and follow the prompts provided. Juvenile citations are not eligible for payment using this service.

In Person: You may pay your bail/fine directly with a clerk at the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office. Cash, personal checks, money orders, and credit or debit cards with Visa, MasterCard or Discover logos are accepted.

Installments: If you choose to forfeit bail on your case, you may be eligible for a monthly payment plan. A $50 fee is added to all payment plans. The minimum allowed monthly payment is $50.00.


Proof of Correction

Please Note: A court clerk is authorized to accept certain standard proofs of correction in order to reduce your fine. You may be required to schedule a court date if you wish to have any other corrections for these violations reviewed for a possible fine reduction.

Only offenses deemed correctable by an officer can be dismissed after proof of correction is shown to the court. Specific instructions for obtaining proof of correction for correctable violations are on the back of your citation/ticket. An administrative fee of $25.00 will be assessed per correction. Proof of correction can be obtained by having an authorized representative of any police agency complete the certificate of correction located on the reverse side of your citation/ticket. If the violations charged on your citation/ticket involve expired vehicle registration, no driver’s license, or no driver’s license in possession, you may have a representative from the Department of Motor Vehicles complete the certificate of correction when these violations have been corrected.

Insurance Violations

If you received a citation/ticket for an insurance violation and either had insurance at the time of the violation or you purchased insurance after you were cited, you may be eligible for a reduction in bail/fine. In order to receive a reduction in your bail/fine, you must present verification of insurance coverage to the court. If you had valid insurance on or prior to the date the citation/ticket was issued, you may provide proof of insurance to the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office by U.S. Mail or in person. Upon payment of the reduced bail/fine, the charge may be dismissed. Your bail/fine may be reduced to half of the original bail/fine if you show proof insurance was purchased after the citation date. You must purchase, at a minimum, a 90-day pre-paid policy; however, the charge will not be dismissed.

The court will accept as proof of compliance a copy of the insurance policy or a copy of an identification card issued by the insurance company with the following vehicle information:

  • Insurance policy number
  • Name of the insurance company
  • Effective date of the coverage
  • Expiration date of the coverage
  • Vehicle Identification (year, make, model, license or VIN number)
Animal Control Violations

Proof of correction for citations/tickets issued for unlicensed or unvaccinated animals can be obtained by having an animal control officer certify the correction has been completed, or by presenting to the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office a photocopy of the license or vaccination certificate, or showing the payment receipt for current license or vaccination. No fee is required if violations are corrected and valid proof is submitted.

Fish & Game Violations

If you receive a citation/ticket for a violation of fishing without a license in possession, (F&G §7145(a)), and can submit proof to the court of a valid license effective on or before the issue date of the citation/ticket, you may be eligible for a reduction in bail/fine. In order to receive the bail/fine reduction, you must present a copy of the valid fishing license to the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office, either by U.S. Mail or in person.


Red Light Camera Citations

Citations issued by automated enforcement systems are issued to the registered owner of the vehicle that is on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The citations are issued by the Redding Police Department and mailed within 15 days of the incident to the address provided by DMV.

If you were not the driver:

A picture of the person driving the vehicle at the time the violation occurred appears on the citation you receive from the law enforcement agency. If you were not the driver, complete the appropriate section on the citation and mail it immediately to the address on the citation. The agency will contact the court regarding your information. If you fail to complete the required information and return it to the address on the citation and do not appear or contact the court by your assigned date, additional penalties will be added to your case and your driver’s license will be suspended.

Viewing of red light camera citations is also available on line. To access your notice, visit www.photonotice.com. The website will require you to enter data from your notice and you will need to include the code for Redding (REDDNG).


Traffic School

You may be eligible to attend traffic school if you have a valid driver’s license and have not attended in the last 18 months. See below to determine eligibility or contact the Traffic Unit Clerk’s Office. Additional fees are required to attend traffic school, in addition to payment of the full bail/fine amount.

If you are eligible and want to attend traffic school, you must pay the amount due for traffic school by the due date on your courtesy notice. Upon receipt of the form and payment of the amount due (original bail amount plus $70.00 Traffic Violator School (TVS) fee), the court will provide further information to you about approved schools and completion dates by U.S. Mail or by email.

DO NOT PAY YOUR CITATION ONLINE OR THOUGH THE AUTOMATED PHONE SYSTEM IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ATTENDING TRAFFIC SCHOOL.

*NOTICE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. For drivers with a noncommercial driver’s license, one conviction in any 18-month period will be held confidential and not show on your driving record if you complete a traffic violator school program. For drivers with a commercial driver’s license, one conviction in any 18-month period will show on your driving record without a violation point if you complete a traffic violator school program.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for Traffic Violator School (TVS) if you meet all of the requirements and a court clerk or a judicial officer has approved your attendance. The requirements are:

  • You have a valid driver's license
  • The violation did not occur in a commercial vehicle
  • The violations are infractions and are reportable to the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • You have not attended TVS for dismissal of a prior ticket issued within 18 months of your present ticket
  • You have not failed to appear under Vehicle Code Section 40508(a), unless the failure to appear charge has been adjudicated, and any fine imposed as been paid in full
  • You have not failed to appear under Penal Code Section 1214.1 unless the monetary assessment has been paid in full
  • An alleged offense does not
    • Have a point count of more than one under Vehicle Code Section 12810
    • Involve alcohol or drug possession
    • Involve exceeding the speed limit by more than 25 miles per hour
  • Charge a violation of Vehicle Code Section 22406.5
  • Require a mandatory appearance.

After you submit your proof of completion to the court, your case will be dismissed.
*You can check the status of your completion certificate at www.courtcertservice.com.

All of the above requirements are your responsibility and must be completed before ninety (90) days. Do not wait to sign up for the school or you may discover that the classes are full and you cannot complete classes and return the "Certificate of Completion" to the Court by the 90th day.

WARNING: If you fail to provide the Court with the required "Certificate of Completion" form within ninety (90) days, the fees paid to the court pursuant to 42007 of the Vehicle Code will be converted to bail and be declared forfeited pursuant to 40512.6 Vehicle Code. The violation will be reported as a CONVICTION to DMV.

© 2009 Superior Court of Shasta County