May
05

California Speeding and Traffic Tickets, first court appearance for Stop Sign Ticket!

By Ronald Cupp PHD

Forgot on my last post, several students commented on the Commissioner’s comments and understanding of the illustrious and Illusive ‘Verified Complaint’ on my current traffic ticket, namely the California stop sign ticket. I personally have used this on several California speeding tickets and traffic tickets, namely cell phone tickets, commuter lane tickets, red light tickets, red light camera tickets and seat belt tickets. It also works for other California misdemeanors and infractions, almost any administrative type hearing.

I have included the audio below, so you can get the feel for the understanding, or shall I say, lack of understanding, of even the courts (or commissioners) position or legal understanding of the penal code, rules of the court, and our the ‘verified complaint’.

In this instance (and several others in Sonoma County who have reported similar stories like this), the Commissioner states, and in her helping tone and explanation, tries to coax me not to use my legal and justified rights to a request for a verified complaint.  Also to waive time and plead not guilty for me!

First, so you can see our position, the code states (which code?? Well several of them-853.9  sub-paragraph (b), of the penal code which by the way, is printed on the infamous NTA or notice to appear-your ticket-in fine print on the bottom of your ticket, that the court wants you to accept as the ‘complaint’ to which you MAY plead because it is approved by the Judicial Counsel,  California Motor Vehicle Code 40513 (a) & (b) (note the MAY plea verse, doesn’t mean you have to plea with the NTA).

The actual code states this:

Penal Code 853.9. (a) Whenever written notice to appear has been prepared, delivered, and filed by an officer or the prosecuting attorney with the court pursuant to the provisions of Section 853.6 of this code, an exact and legible duplicate copy of the notice when filed with the magistrate, in lieu of a verified complaint, shall constitute a complaint to which the defendant may plead “guilty” or nolo contendere.

If, however, the defendant violates his or her promise to appear in court, or does not deposit lawful bail, or pleads other than “guilty” or “nolo contendere” to the offense charged, a complaint shall be filed which shall conform to the provisions of this code and which shall be deemed to be an original complaint; and thereafter proceedings shall be had as provided by law, except that a defendant may, by an agreement in writing, subscribed by him or her and filed with the court, waive the filing of a verified complaint and elect that the prosecution may proceed upon a written notice to appear.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (a) of this section, whenever the written notice to appear has been prepared on a form approved by the Judicial Council, an exact and legible duplicate copy of the notice when filed with the magistrate shall constitute a complaint to which the defendant may enter a plea and, if the notice to appear is verified, upon which a warrant may be issued. If the notice to appear is not verified, the defendant may, at the time of arraignment, request that a verified complaint be filed.

Vehicle Code 40513. (a) Whenever written notice to appear has been prepared, delivered, and filed with the court, an exact and legible duplicate copy of the notice when filed with the magistrate, in lieu of a verified complaint, shall constitute a complaint to which the defendant may plead “guilty” or “nolo contendere.”

If, however, the defendant violates his or her promise to appear in court or does not deposit lawful bail, or pleads other than “guilty” or “nolo contendere” to the offense charged, a complaint shall be filed that shall conform finasteride 1mg to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 948) of Title 5 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, which shall be deemed to be an original complaint, and thereafter proceedings shall be had as provided by law, except that a defendant may, by an agreement in writing, subscribed by him or her and filed with the court, waive the filing of a verified complaint and elect that the prosecution may proceed upon a written notice to appear.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), whenever the written notice to appear has been prepared on a form approved by the Judicial Council, an exact and legible duplicate copy of the notice when filed with the magistrate shall constitute a complaint to which the defendant may enter a plea and, if the notice to appear is verified, upon which a warrant may be issued. If the notice to appear is not verified, the defendant may, at the time of arraignment, request that a verified complaint be filed. In the case of an infraction violation in which the defendant is a minor, the defendant may enter a plea at the arraignment upon a written notice to appear. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of an infraction violation, no consent of the minor is required prior to conducting the hearing upon a written notice to appear.

In both of these instances, it states that the Defendant (you or infraction violator) MAY plead ‘guilty or nolo-contendere, if you WANT TO ACCEPT THE NTA as your complaint; and also ‘the defendant may, at the time of arraignment, request that a verified complaint be filed. There ya go BABY, in black and white.

So now let’s hear the song and dance the Commissioner tells us, after she’s done all the legal research (and she’s sick of it), and that I should have filed the motion for request for a verified complaint beforehand (even thou it says ‘at the time of arraignment in the code) but she will take my ‘oral’ motion over the bench, then on to the night fable tale (like mom use to tell when we went to sleep) about the “officer used to sign his name on the ticket and the people could not read his signature, then because it was printed and not signed it did not constitute a valid verified complaint, blah blah blah (my head is beginning to spin with all the story jargon and not down to the right that I get to request a ‘verified complaint at my arraignment’. So as you listen to the audio, also catch the attempt to get me to waive time (we never do). Also about the ‘not guilty’ plea they wanted to enter on my behalf (for another long discussion and California traffic ticket blog post)!

Again, I personally have used this on several California speeding tickets and traffic tickets, namely cell phone tickets, commuter lane tickets, red light tickets, red light camera tickets and seat belt tickets. It also works for other California misdemeanors and infractions, almost any administrative type hearing or public infraction. I will pick up with my next court appearance and let you know what happened!

Ronald Cupp PhD

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Comments

  1. some really wondrous work on behalf of the owner of this website , absolutely great content material .

  2. Such an interesting story to read and I enjoyed reading it as well. Keep up the good work.

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