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Related Links
 

Contesting a Citation

 

Trial by Written Declaration

Court Trial

Contesting a Judicial Decision

Dissatisfaction with Court Decision

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To contest your citation you must appear in person or by phone on or before your scheduled arraignment date (date @ bottom of citation).  If you plead “not guilty” your case will be scheduled for a Court Trial at a future date.

Trial by Written Declaration

Trial by Written Declaration allows a defendant to contest a citation in writing, without having to make a personal court appearance.  Trials by Written Declaration are available in cases involving infraction violations of the Vehicle Code or local ordinances adopted under the Vehicle Code.

The following must be met to qualify for a Trial by Written Declaration:

  • Full bail (fine) must be paid
  • Violation(s) must be infractions only
  • Violation(s) must not involve an accident
  • No failure to appear or failure to pay fine have been added to the case

Instructions and forms for a Trial by Written Declaration may be obtained by mail or in person.  You must submit the Trial by Written Declaration form with any facts or evidence you wish the court to consider.  A written statement will be requested from the citing officer.  A judicial officer or judge will review your case and you will be notified of the decision by mail.    Trial by Written Declaration must be submitted no later than the due date stated in box “A” of the Trial by Written Declaration form.  Failure to submit the Trial by Written Declaration form by 4:00 p.m. or the due date will result in a forfeiture of your fees and a conviction reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Post marks are not accepted.

Dissatisfaction with Court Decision

If you are dissatisfied with the court’s decision, you may ask for a new trial (“Trial de Novo”).  In order to obtain a new trial, you must file that Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo) (form TR-220) within 20 days after the date the court’s decision was mailed to you.

A motion can be filed to request to change a plea, sentence or a finding within 180 days of conviction.

 

Court Trial

You may request a Court Trial at your Arraignment or you can request a Court Trial without appearing prior to the arraignment date.  The following requirements must be met to qualify for a Court Trial without appearing for Arraignment:

  • Full bail (fine) must be paid
  • Violation(s) must be infractions only
  • No prior failure to appear on the case
  • Entry of a “not guilty” plea in writing

The Court Trial will be presided by a judicial officer or a judge.  The officer will be subpoenaed to the trial to present factual evidence.  You must also be prepared to produce all evidence, documents, or witnesses to support your case.  Written declarations including notarized declarations from witnesses will not be accepted.

Contesting a Judicial Decision

A party may appeal an unfavorable decision made in the Trial Court to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.  The appeal must be directed towards errors of the law only.  An appeal is not a retrial, and you will not be permitted to introduce new evidence.

 

 
Superior Court of California, Kings County
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