Need advice: Stop sign violation vs. Speeding. Which ticket is worse?

After all these years of never getting a ticket, I got two on the same night, 10mins apart :slight_smile:

Ticket 1: Speeding Ticket: 87 in a 65. (Traffic School Fee: $286.50, Fine: $262.50)

Ticket 2: Stop sign violation. (Traffic School Fee: $210, Fine: $153)

I am eligible for traffic school for either of these tickets, and was wondering which one to go to traffic school for and which one to pay the fine for.

What are the longer term repercussions of either of these tickets, including impact on insurance?

Thanks for your advice.

Start here and check your violation number to see if they are both 1 point or if one is a 2 pointer:

Another note - you have to pay the fine even if you go to traffic school in California nowadays. They got rid of the traffic school = no fine several years ago.

Bummer getting nailed twice in 10 minutes. While I am also in SoCal, I don’t have a factual answer, but I suspect they would count againt you equally since they are both ‘moving violations’.

If it was me, I would go to traffic school for the more ‘proveable’ violation (which in my opinion is the speeding), because the cop will probably have a radar gun readout or will have matched speed with you if he nailed you from behind. I think this is harder to fight…unless there are unusual circumstances in your favor. I’m assuming there aren’t

If you are going to eat it on the other ticket (stop sign violation) and can’t otherwise go to traffic school, why not try to fight it? My recommendation is to go to the courthouse, and do a “trial by declaration” so you can write in your defense to the judge. The advantage to this is that 1) you don’t have to miss a day of work in court and 2) the cop has to send in a written explanation, which is a pain in the ass for them and they might not do it, forget, etc. in which case it gets dismissed in your favor. If you try to fight it in court, you may not like the confrontation of it, and the cop is virtually guarnateed to show up since they get overtime, like doing it, etc. People don’t like to write (cops included) so I think you’ll have a better shot.

The “trial by declaration” will require you to pay the fine up front, but if the judge agrees you are not guilty or the cop doesn’t write a response, you get your money back. Anecdotally, I used the “trial by declaration” trick to fight a speeding in a school zone violation last year and won. The issue was whether “children were present”, which they were not, and I was able to prove that with a form from the school that showed their hours.

I’m also guessing your stop sign violation was a classic “rolling stop”, which is subjective. I’d try to argue that you did stop, there were no other cars, the cop was too far away to clearly see, it was dark, etc. Be professional in the letter (address it “Your honor” and “the officer” or “Officer Johnson”) and cite as many of the relevant traffic codes as you can. If there is even the tiniest mistake on the ticket write up focus on that too. What’s the worst that could happen? I picked up the forms on my lunch hour and wrote up my explanation that night. Three months later, I got my money back.

Good advice. I’d fight them both, but I am retired and have time to kill hangin’ round the courthouse. Can make for a day of fun, I’ll tell ya.

I beat the “rolling stop” ticket just like this. Cop was too far away (nearly 1/4 mile!) and talking on his cell phone when eventually he passed me. He made several trivial errors on the ticket (and some not so trivial). I showed up in court and argued that the officer clearly wasn’t paying too much attention to his duties (pointing out the many mistakes) and that ticket went in the shit-can.

I went through that sign at about 20 mph! :smiley:

I beat my speeding ticket because the cop wrote that I was northbound. It was an east-west street. Read your ticket carefully!

Sorry I didn’t return to the thread earlier. Thank you all for the excellent advice, especially Yarster.

My tickets don’t have any mistakes that will allow me to fight them on a technicality. I think I’m going to follow your advice to contest one of the tickets using the “trial by written declaration” option. I don’t really have a defense for the speeding ticket, and I’m not sure what I can write in defense other than “Hi what’s up, I hope you don’t write your side of the story” :slight_smile: Does the cop get to read what I write, or does my declaration go only to the Judge?

If I fight the speeding ticket using the “trial by written declaration” option and lose, can I still exercise the option of traffic school or do I lose that option if I contest the ticket?