I dreaded to open the letter I got today from the Department of Traffic Violations.
Sure enough, it was a ticket. From one of the stoplight cameras along Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles. They charged me with running a red light, and the photos pretty clearly show my car, license plate, and even me driving it.
I’m willing to admit it’s possible I’m guilty of this. I mean it’s freaking L.A., if you don’t drive a little bit aggressively you’d never get anywhere. So I was expecting something like a $50 citation when I turned the page over, and much to much shock and horror saw the amount of $381.00 clearly bolded as the “bail” I am supposed to forfeit to the court for the violation. What’s even worse is that the letter explains if I simply pay it, it will also add a point to my license and my insurance may be adversely affected. (effectively making it even worse than a $400 ticket)
This is really kind of soul-crushing to me, since I have to work pretty hard to make $381. Is there any way I can get it reduced? The letter says I can contest the violation of course and request a court trial in person, but what will happen if I do that? Anyone have experience with these things in California? I mean they have photographic evidence so I don’t know how I can claim I’m not guilty - or can I? Please help me out here!