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Request to Dismiss
At Arraignment

I realize that some arraignment judges will not appreciate me telling this little secret, but some may like it. I found out about this when Commissioner Kirkland Nyby (L.A. Municipal) dimissed, at arraignment, a ticket I had received for going 50 in a 45.

This will really make the County Treasurers unhappy, because even if you win at trial and get your money back, the county will have collected interest on it for two to six months. If the judge dismisses at arraignment, the county gets nothing but the expense of the officer's time writing the ticket, and the court's time for the arraignment.

If the ticket is obviously bogus (i.e. not requiring more than one, or at most two pictures or documents), you may want to ask the judge at the arraignment to dismiss the case.

Point out that you are entitled to a presumption of innocence. In spite of this, you have already had to take the time to come to court. In the interest of justice you should not have to come back, and therefore request a dismissal per Penal Code section 1385.

If the judge tells you that he/she cannot dismiss a case at arraignment, ask him/her to please read California Penal Code, section 1385. (After printing out the text of CPC 1385, use your back button to return to this page). Hand the text of CPC 1385 to the bailiff.

If the Judge chooses not to dismiss the case, the next step is the trial.

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