If you choose a statutory procedure for traffic cases that requires the deposit of bail (a statement of intent to plead not guilty, written not guilty plea, or trial by written declaration) or if the court otherwise orders you to deposit bail, you will need to deposit bail with the court. You may also choose not to challenge the ticket and to simply pay the traffic bail. The court can tell you what amount to pay for your ticket. The fine, penalties, and fees for infractions can be $490 or more.
After the court has processed your ticket, you may be able to pay online, by phone, in person at the court, or by mail. Check the ticket, courtesy notice, or court website to see whether you can pay by phone or online. If the court allows payment online, you can click to pay on the Internet at the State of California website.
Financial hardship and ability to pay. If you have a financial hardship and can show that you are unable to pay the full amount for the offenses on your traffic ticket, you may request the court to consider your ability to pay. However, you must appear before the court to do so. When you appear in court and plead “guilty” at arraignment, you may request that the court consider your ability to pay in reducing the fine to be paid. If you plead “not guilty,” after a trial and conviction, you may request that the court consider your ability to pay in deciding the fine ordered for the offenses. (Veh. Code, § 42003(c).) Additionally, regardless of your plea, if you are ordered to pay a fine you may ask the court for an installment payment plan that is based on your ability to pay, or ask the court to approve community service due to financial hardship.
How Is Traffic Bail Forfeited?
A deposit of bail for a traffic infraction is forfeited—meaning that you pay the court and do not get your money back—in the following ways:
For more serious misdemeanors like DUIs (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs), your fine, penalties, and fees will probably be close to $5,000 or more. And there can be other consequences, like losing your driver’s license or even going to jail.
If you have been charged with a DUI for the first time, you may:
If this is your second DUI in the last 10 years, you may:
If this is your third DUI in the last 10 years, you may: