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Before you ask for traffic school, I would encourage you to consider the possibility of a trial by declaration. This may be done by mail, so you do not even have to go to court. If you submit your declaration and the officer fails to submit his/her declaration, you win automatically. At least this gives you a chance of beating the ticket. If you are "dissatisfied" with the decision (i.e., if you lose), you are entitled to a new trial by law (Vehicle Code Section 40902(d)). At the new trial you can ask for traffic school.

Even if you lose the second trial, you can still go to traffic school, in spite of what you may have heard from a friend or court clerk (or even a judge). If you don't believe it, read Vehicle Code section 42005 and People v Wozniak.

Better yet, read California Rule of Court 4.104(c)(2):

A defendant who is otherwise eligible for traffic violator school is not made ineligible by entering a plea other than guilty or by exercising his or her right to trial. A traffic violator school request must be considered based on the individual circumstances of the specific case. The court is not required to state on the record a reason for granting or denying a traffic violator school request.

[NOTE: Prior to July 1,2011 this was Rule 4.104(c)(3). It was renumbered as Rule 4.104(c)(2) effective July 1, 2011.]

The trick is to get the court to offer you traffic school before you go to trial. Once they offer, you can go, even if you go to trial. We cover this in the tutorial.

If you think you may want to fight your ticket, please continue with the tutorial.

If you really want to go to traffic school without fighting your ticket, or if you have lost and need to go to traffic school, I would recommend online traffic school through IDriveSafely.com. They are convenient, inexpensive and guaranteed the easiest.

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