- Have not gone to traffic school within the the last 18 months.
- Did not commit too serious an offense.
- Do not want the ticket on your record (for insurance or employment purposes).
- Are allowed by the court.
Then you may attend traffic school.
This is a program in California where -- in exchange for paying for and attending an eight hour class -- the citation does not appear on your record.
One word of warning for those who haven't gone to traffic school in a few years, the price has gone up. To attend traffic school you will have to pay:
- the full cost of the fine
- a court fee (approximately $25)
- the traffic school tuition of $25 to $50 (or maybe more)
Most courts have a "second chance" program where you can attend a 12 hour traffic school if you do not qualify because you have attended previously within the proscribed time frame. While the ticket will still appear on your record as dismissal, your insurance company can legally raise your rates for the ticket. In other words, why waste the time? Unless you are trying to save your license you are much better off fighting the ticket.
Since the court collects the full fine plus the court fee when you attend either the regular or 12 hour traffic school, most courts tend toward liberal in their interpretation of who can attend traffic school.