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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haven't been able to find any recent posts around the forum about bike traffic tickets pertaining to LA, so I figure I'd give this a shot.

Got a ticket blowing through a stop sign on my bike, and also written up for wearing headphones in both ears (didn't know the law only allowed one ear). Guilty on both charges? Grumble, yes.

I'm looking for advice from people who've gotten a similar infraction, preferably around LA, but stories from anywhere can help, and A)How you contested your ticket if you were guilty, and B)What the consequences were...total fine, points on license, etc.

I'm looking for the best approach to contesting this with the endgame of getting the fine reduced and no points on my license.

Any advice or stories are much appreciated.
 

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I don't have any tips to offer, but I'm genuinely interested in the fact that a cycling offense (or two), which doesn't even require a drivers license, can result in 'points' on your drivers license?

That just seems odd to me...
 

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In California, they leave it up to the local jurisdiction as to whether the particular law enforcement agency (1)reports the violation and (2)allows traffic school to reduce the fine and expunge the points off your record.
A county sheriff ticketed me for blowing a stopsign in a suburb of L.A. I took an online traffic school course to eliminate the ticket from my driving record. The city of Los Angeles may handle it differently. At least they can't get us on their stoplight cameras!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Migen, I've read some things around the web where people got points, as I guess in LA (at least at the time of those posts 3-10 years ago) offenses on a bicycle are treated exactly the same as if you were in a car. Plus there's no traffic school option if you're on a bike :(

The only thing I have going for me at the moment is that the officer mispelled the first two letters of the street name, which is essentially created a different street name altogether. That could be one way to contest, but if they throw it out, then I've given up any other way to fight it.
 

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1) Pay the fine.
2) Plead not guilty
3) Request a trial by declaration
4) In said trial by declaration form write down "In my opinion, there is not enough evidence to convict me of ## insert traffic violation(s)####"<insert infractions="" here="">
5) The above puts the burden of proof on the officer, and your 'opinion' can't be contested so you are not perjuring yourself.
6) Wait for verdict.
7) If guilty, request a court appearance. The office has to show up and you can present your case to the judge and ask for traffic school if necessary.

Good luck.</insert>
 

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1) Pay the fine.
2) Plead not guilty
3) Request a trial by declaration
4) In said trial by declaration form write down "In my opinion, there is not enough evidence to convict me of ## insert traffic violation(s)####"<insert infractions="" here="">
5) The above puts the burden of proof on the officer, and your 'opinion' can't be contested so you are not perjuring yourself.
6) Wait for verdict.
7) If guilty, request a court appearance. The office has to show up and you can present your case to the judge and ask for traffic school if necessary.

Good luck.</insert>
This is the best course of action in your case. But even after trial by written declaration and going to court, the cop showed up and I had a very unsympathetic judge (as well as the cop being a real nasty one, Santa Monica PD motorcycle officer). To make things even worse, the ticket was on bike to work week! Still lost.

For the ear buds, unless you still had them in your ears when the cop came up to you, you can make an argument that they are too small and the cop would not be able to clearly see whether they were both IN your ears or just hanging on your helmet strap. My wife got the same ticket before we knew about this law. But it was dismissed before getting to that point (this was UCLA police).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Was traffic school an option for you, and was the ticket reduced at all? And what exactly was your line of argument? Interesting to know that it didn't work. This is the first time I've been pulled over in any capacity in my life, car, bike, whatever. Not sure if that'd be worth it to mention either.
 

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My line of argument originally in the written declaration was that he pulled over 4-5 cyclists at the same time about 5 blocks away from where he allegedly said we ran stop signs. How did he know who was who? etc. In court, I messed up because as soon as I said I was pleading no contest but would like to make a few statements (where I was going to request fine reduction, argue about how we don't have the same right to traffic school as cyclists, etc.), the judge shut me down and basically said "well there's nothing more to say if you are pleading no contest." And that was that. Pissed me off.

Traffic school was not an option but I believe I was informed that it wouldn't be reported. I haven't checked since the court case, but up until then it never showed up on my DMV record. Hmm, maybe I'll check it out now.
 

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Haven't been able to find any recent posts around the forum about bike traffic tickets pertaining to LA, so I figure I'd give this a shot.

Got a ticket blowing through a stop sign on my bike, and also written up for wearing headphones in both ears (didn't know the law only allowed one ear). Guilty on both charges? Grumble, yes.

I'm looking for advice from people who've gotten a similar infraction, preferably around LA, but stories from anywhere can help, and A)How you contested your ticket if you were guilty, and B)What the consequences were...total fine, points on license, etc.

I'm looking for the best approach to contesting this with the endgame of getting the fine reduced and no points on my license.

Any advice or stories are much appreciated.
I have dealt with this before. In my situation, I didn't stop, but the stop sign was mostly blocked by another sign (see picture). The judge still ruled guilty. I quoted the vehicle coding saying that the court is not required to report cycling infractions to the DMV, and I requested it to not be reported. The judge agreed and wrote a note on the file.
Of course, I checked my DMV record a few months later and the stop sign violation was on it. I made sure to get a copy of the court documents before I left the trial and went to the court clerk with them. They quickly took my infraction off of my DMV record.

Even if you plead guilty and don't want a trial, you are guaranteed a reduced fine if you show up at the court location on the day shown on your ticket. If you decide to move forward with the trial (for this I needed to go back to court on a different date), if the officer does not show up, you get your violation dismissed. Otherwise, you can at least ask the judge for the court to not report it to the DMV (and make sure to get a copy of the court document before you go home).

Going to the courthouse twice takes a lot of time. It depends how much you want to avoid getting points to see if that time is worthwhile for you to spend.

Motor vehicle Mode of transport Automotive tail & brake light Land vehicle Vehicle
 
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