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California Traffic Ticket Law Blog

5 things you may need to do to get your license back

You cannot drive on a suspended license. Not having a valid driver's license really impacts your life, making it harder to go to work and cutting into your freedom and social activities. If you lose your license, you need to know what steps to take to get it back.

Exactly what you'll need to do depends on the specific reason that you lost the license to begin with. However, here are five common steps to help you understand the likely process:

  1. Wait until the suspension period has ended. Do not drive at all during this time. Getting caught doing so can lead to more charges and increase the length of the suspension.
  2. Pay any fines and the reissue fee. This is mandatory if you want to drive legally again.
  3. If you lost your license due to drunk driving, you may need to complete a DUI treatment program as ordered by the court.
  4. If you had a mental or physical disorder, you may need to get a Driver Medical Evaluation that clears you to drive again.
  5. If you lost your license and got a prison sentence for the incident — multiple drunk driving charges, for example -- then you have to serve that sentence first.

Study: Hit-and-run accidents growing more common

Hit-and-run accidents have always happened, but recent reports indicate that they are quickly growing more common. One study, which looked at accidents involving fatalities, found that they went up by 60 percent in less than a decade. The study looked at the changes in incidents from 2009 to 2016.

Most of the hit-and-runs actually did not involve other cars -- particularly when looking at fatal crashes. About 65 percent of the incidents involved cyclists and pedestrians.

Can you always turn right on red?

As you probably know, it is often legal to turn right on a red light. You simply have to stop like you usually would at the intersection -- at the limit line or the crosswalk -- and then you can turn right when there is a break in traffic. But can you always turn right on red?

You can't. There are some exceptions to this rule.

Can you accelerate before the speed limit sign?

You drive through the same part of town every day. It starts out in a 25-mph zone right near your house, but it changes to a standard 55-mph zone about two miles along in your daily commute. Since you know the area and you know the sign is coming, you usually start accelerating before you actually get to it. This way, you can get up to 55 mph when you reach the sign. Is this legal?

While it is very common, this is technically illegal. Speed limit signs do not mean you should already be going at that speed when you hit the sign. There is no gray area or buffer zone in front of the sign. As long as you have not passed it yet, you are still in the old speed limit zone. It does not change until the exact spot where they put up that sign.

Too many at-fault car accidents may leave you without a license

Perhaps you were driving over the speed limit, lost control of your vehicle and were involved in a car accident. An officer determined your actions caused the majority of the damage, and you were subsequently ticketed. A few months later, you failed to make a complete stop at a stop sign, and you crashed into another vehicle. Again, an officer found your actions at-fault, and you received another ticket.

California driving laws assign serious penalties for those that engage in actions that lead to accidents on the roadway. Though you always try to drive safely and abide by all traffic laws, you have a serious case of bad luck and continue to receive point violations. Unfortunately, if you find yourself accused of multiple at-fault accidents in a 12-month time frame in California, you may lose your license. In any accident involving traffic convictions, you want to hire an experienced ticketing attorney to help you defend yourself against the accumulation of punishments.

Why you should put your empty bottles and cans in the trunk

You support recycling and environmental action, so you always take your empty cans and bottles back to turn them in. It's just one way that you do your part for the planet.

However, you know about open container laws in California. You cannot drive with open containers of alcohol in the car. If the police pull you over while you're taking some empties back, are they going to assume you have been drinking and driving?

How you can fight a speeding ticket in California

Being issued a speeding ticket is stressful. Not only are you facing a monetary fine, but also points on your license. If you don't fight the ticket, your license will take a hit and any future citations could lead to a suspension of your driving privileges if you accrue enough points. Let's take a look at how you can fight a speeding ticket in today's post.

A common way many people fight speeding tickets is by claiming that they were speeding due to an emergency. Now, it will be difficult to prove this defense, especially if you don't have any evidence of an emergency at the time you were caught speeding by the police. Valid emergencies include transporting a woman in labor to the hospital, trying to outrun a wildfire and speeding away from someone intending to harm you.

New study finds California drivers third worst in the country

A new study has found that California drivers are the third worst in the United States. The study, conducted by SmartAsset, was released earlier this month. The data compiled put California in a tie with Missouri for third place and just behind Mississippi and Tennessee for the worst drivers in America.

There were four important factors taken into consideration by SmartAsset as the study was compiled:

  • Average number of fatalities per miles driven
  • Percentage of drivers who have insurance
  • Number of times residents of each state search the internet using terms like "speeding ticket" and "traffic ticket"
  • The number of DUI convictions each driver has on their record

How do I get my driver's license reinstated?

The ability to drive is a privilege and not a right. This means that you can easily lose that privilege if you commit too many driving offenses or commit serious offenses such as driving under the influence or vehicular homicide. If you have your driver's license suspended, you likely want to know what it takes to have it reinstated in California.

A license suspension in California can last as little as 30 days for a misdemeanor traffic violation and for one year or more for a more serious crime, such as reckless driving. If you have been ordered not to drive due to an emotional or mental disorder and you do, you could have your license taken away permanently.

The California traffic violator school program

Being issued a speeding ticket is not the end of the world. The ticket, if one of many on your record, could affect the status of your driver's license. This is when you need to look into attending traffic school or a defensive driving class. Not only will attending these classes help your insurance rates, they will also help the status of your license.

If you have recently been ticketed for speeding or any other moving violation in California, you have the opportunity to have the ticket dismissed instead of it being placed on your record. You need to meet the following qualifications in order for this to happen:

  • Your license must be valid at the time of the ticket being issued
  • The violation for which you were ticketed must not have occurred in a commercial vehicle
  • The traffic violation must not have been a misdemeanor
  • The traffic violation must not have involved alcohol
  • You must not have completed any traffic school course within the last 18 months for the sole purpose of fighting a traffic ticket
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