Jul 26, 2016

Traffic Division (Adult)

Location: Hall of Justice, 600 Administration Drive, Room 109J, Santa Rosa CA 95403
Office Hours: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM Mon-Fri
(707) 521-6680 8:00 AM to Noon Mon-Fri
(707) 521-6587 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Mon-Fri for Traffic School Referrals Only

Traffic Division Home Page

For Juvenile Traffic Related Issues click here

Adult Traffic Violations

The Traffic Division processes Vehicle Code moving violations, as well as a variety of other infraction level violations and some city and county ordinance violations. If you have received a traffic citation, a Courtesy Notice will be mailed to you at the address listed on the citation. The Courtesy Notice includes the following

  1. Bail amount for the citation and the due date to pay or appear
  2. Traffic Violator School (TVS) eligibility information
  3. Information regarding clearing a "fix-it" violation with proof of correction
  4. Instructions for payment by credit card
  5. Court appearance instructions and information

If you do not receive a Courtesy Notice within 6 weeks after receiving a citation, please call the Traffic Division at 707-521-6680. Court telephone operators are available from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM noon, Monday through Friday. Automated attendant information is available 24 hours a day. You must have your citation number to use the automated 24 hour attendant. This number can be found on your citation or on your Courtesy Notice. For courtesy notice with the citation number to use the automated 24 hour attendant

Options to Clear Your Citation

If the citation does not require a mandatory court appearance, you may follow the instructions on the court’s Courtesy Notice to clear a citation. Options generally available include the following:

  1. Pay (forfeit) the bail amount. This will close the citation and report the conviction to your driver’s license record (if the violation is reportable to the California Department of Motor Vehicles).
  2. Submit the signed "Certificate of Correction" with appropriate fees to the court. Any police officer may sign-off most correctable violations. Violations of 16028 VC (automobile liability insurance) will only be dismissed upon: (1) showing or mailing evidence of financial responsibility (to the court) which was valid at the time the notice to appear was issued and (2) payment of a transaction fee shown on your Courtesy Notice. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may only sign-off vehicle registration and driver’s license violations.
  3. Sign-up with the court to attend Traffic Violator School (TVS) (if eligible). Classroom, home study, and online internet classes are available throughout California. NOTE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend Traffic Violator School, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. One conviction in any 18-month period will be held confidential on your DMV record if you complete a Traffic Violator School and pay all related Traffic Violator School fees. See below for further information regarding Traffic Violator School.
  4. Request a court trial. Please refer to the section below entitled "To Contest Your Citation" for more information.

Traffic Court

Most citations are cleared with the court without appearing before the Judge. Walk-In Court is the arraignment process for Traffic Infraction level violations. Individuals, who have been issued citations which require a mandatory appearance, or who wish to request a court trial without posting bail, must appear in Walk-In Court. You are not required to deposit bail when requesting an arraignment hearing or when requesting a court trial at your arraignment appearance.

Generally, when an officer issues a citation to appear in Traffic Court, the violation is an infraction and the citation will include an appearance date. You must clear your citation with the court on or before this date, or any court issued extension of this date. The court will mail a Courtesy Notice to the address listed on the citation. The Courtesy Notice will explain how to clear the citation with the Court (See Options to Clear Your Citation above). If you do not receive a Courtesy Notice within six weeks after receiving a citation, contact the Traffic Division immediately at (707) 521-6680.

If you are unable to clear your citation before the due date, you may be eligible for an extension. You may request an extension by accessing the court’s website at sonoma.courts.ca.gov and clicking on the "Pay Online" link. You may also obtain an extension by calling (707) 521-6680 between 8:00 AM and 12:00 Noon - Monday through Friday.

IMPORTANT: You must take action on or before the Due Date on your citation. Failure to address your citation by your Due Date may result in additional charges, penalties, assessments, fees and actions, including a civil assessment of $300 (Penal Code 1214.1), a hold or suspension placed on your driver’s license, and/or a possible warrant for your arrest. The civil assessment under Penal Code 1214.1 may be collected by attachment of your wages, bank accounts and other property, or by tax refund interception. If your citation goes to collections, you must call Court Collections at (707)521-6659 to clear your citation. If your citation is in collections, Traffic Division staff will refer you to the Court Collections Division for assistance. Go to Court Collections Division page

Walk-In Court is held Monday through Friday. You must arrive and check in at the Traffic Division, 600 Administration Drive, Room 109-J by 8:00 AM on the day you wish to appear in court (on or before the due date indicated on your citation). A limited number of cases are heard each day and are heard on a first come first served basis. Walk- In Court begins at 9:00 AM and cannot be prescheduled. Please note that shorts and tank tops are not appropriate attire for the courtroom.

Traffic Violator School (TVS)

You may attend Traffic Violator School (TVS) if you meet the following guidelines:

  1. You have not attended TVS in the last 18 months plus one day (calculated violation date to violation date - not Traffic School attendance date).
  2. You have a valid Driver’s License. If you were cited while driving with a Class A, B or Commercial Class C driver’s license on or after January 1, 2013, but were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation, you may attend traffic school, if eligible. Although the DMV will remove the point from the commercial license holder’s driving record, they will not hold the conviction as confidential and your insurance may be adversely affected.
  3. Your speeding violation is not more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit
  4. Your violation did not occur in a commercial vehicle

The Courtesy Notice identifies the fees that must be paid to the court before you may sign-up for TVS. These fees are the Bail Amount (varies by violation) and a State/Court Administrative fee. An additional fee, usually $30 - $60 will be charged by the TVS provider when you enroll in their class. You may send a check or money order for the total TVS amount due as shown on your Courtesy Notice. TVS forms will be mailed to you after payment is received. ALL TVS FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. If you are eligible, and decide not to attend TVS, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.

If you fail to complete Traffic Violator School by the due date, your bail will be forfeited, and your case will be closed and reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles as a conviction.

»Sign up & pay for Traffic School on the web

To Contest Your Citation

If you wish to contest your citation, you may plead NOT GUILTY by using one of the following methods:

  1. Complete and file a Declaration of Intent to Plead NOT Guilty and Request a Trial Date with the court before the citation due date. You must post the bail amount stated on your Courtesy Notice when this form is filed with the court. The court will notify you of your Trial Date and the officer will be subpoenaed to be present. Please note that bail may not be posted via credit card, over the Internet, or through the court’s phone system. If you are found not guilty, and no other fines/fees are assessed, your posted bail will be refunded.
  2. Complete and file a Request for Trial by Written Declaration (TR-205). You must post the bail amount stated on your Courtesy Notice when this form is filed with the court. Please read the instructions before completing the form and filing it with the court. The bail and the declaration form must be submitted before the due date listed on your Courtesy Notice. If you are found not guilty, and no other fines/fees are assessed, your posted bail will be refunded.

    Please note that bail may not be posted via credit card, over the Internet, or through the court’s phone system.

  3. Request a Court Trial by appearing in Walk-in Court. You may appear at Walk-In Court without payment of bail.

Payment Options

Payment options are as follows:
Payment by Web:(Credit Card), click here.
Payment in Person:You may pay your traffic citation in person at the address listed below by using VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit cards, check, money order or cash.
Payment by Mail:You may pay your citation by mailing a check, money order or cashier’s check to the address listed below. Partial payments are not accepted. DO NOT MAIL CASH TO THE COURT.
General Payment Information:Payment plans, or a conversion of your fine to community service, may be available. For information regarding these options, contact the court.

To clear a correctable violation, the violation must be signed off by a police officer (Certificate of Correction) and submitted to the court with the Proof of Correction amount shown on your Courtesy Notice. Please write your citation number on your check or money order and include your Courtesy Notice with your payment. Paying your citation is considered a forfeiture of bail and will close your case. Bail forfeiture is a conviction and will report to your driver’s license record if the violation is reportable to the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are eligible and wish to attend Traffic Violator School (TVS), please read the Traffic School section prior to mailing your payment. If you are eligible for Traffic School and choose not to attend, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. Using the pre-addressed Courtesy Notice return envelope will expedite the processing of your payment.
Mail payments to:
SUPERIOR COURT TRAFFIC DIVISION
600 ADMINISTRATION DRIVE ROOM 109-J
SANTA ROSA, CA 95403-2878

Failure to respond to citation

You must complete one of the following actions on or before the due date on the Courtesy Notice, or any court approved extension of this due date:

  1. Appear,
  2. Request a payment plan, request a conversion of your fine to community service or pay your fine in full (forfeit bail)
  3. Submit your "Certificate of Correction" and correction fee
  4. Submit your completed "Trial By Declaration"" (TR-205) and post bail, or
  5. Submit your completed "Declaration of Intent to Plead NOT Guilty and Request a Trial Date" and post bail.

If you fail to complete one of the above options by your due date the court may take one or more of the following actions:

  1. Impose a $300 civil assessment
  2. Transfer your citation to a collection agency.
  3. Place a hold on your driver license with the Department of Motor Vehicles which may result in suspension of your driving privileges
  4. Issue a warrant for your arrest.
  5. Conduct a hearing under Vehicle Code 40903 where you may be found Guilty in Absentia

Frequently Asked Questions

I just got a traffic citation a few hours ago; What is my bail amount?

Court staff is unable to provide the bail amount on an unentered citation. Upon entry, your citation bail amount will be calculated by a computer program which utilizes the court’s violation bail schedule and your Driver’s License Record to calculate the total bail amount due.

Why isn’t my citation on the Traffic Court’s computer?

Many factors can affect the issuing agency’s filing of a citation with the court, and its subsequent entry into the court’s computer system by court staff. It may take 4-6 weeks from the violation date for a citation to be received and entered into the court’s computer system. The appearance date on an infraction citation is usually 60-90 days from the violation date. This should provide adequate time for both the enforcement agency and the court to process your citation.

Once your citation is entered into the court’s computer system a computerized courtesy notice will be mailed to the address listed on the citation, and will explain options for clearing the citation with the court. You may clear your citation with the court at any time after you receive the courtesy notice from the court. If you do not receive the courtesy notice within a week of your appearance date, please contact the court for further information by calling 707-521-6680.

Errors, or omissions of information from the citation, can delay the processing of a citation. Generally, the court’s Traffic Division only processes citations issued for infraction and less serious misdemeanors which may be heard as infractions. Although traffic in nature, more serious violations issued to an adult, including those listed below, are filed with the District Attorney’s Office and are processed by the court’s Criminal Division.

  • 12500a VC – Unlicensed Driver ( Vehicle impounded for 30 days )
  • 14601a VC – Driver License Suspended – Negligent Operator
  • 14601.1a VC – Driver License Suspended – All other, except Failure To Appear (Vehicle impounded for 30 days)
  • 23103a VC – Reckless Driving
  • 23109a VC – Speed Contest
  • 23152a VC – Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Alcohol or Drugs
Can I get an extension of the appearance or fine due date?

Most citations are eligible for an extension after they are entered into the court's computer system. You may call (707) 521-6680 to request an extension of your citation's due date or visit the court's website at sonoma.courts.ca.gov and click on the "Pay by Web" link on the Home Page.

Why is my bail amount so high, how is my bail amount calculated?

Bail amounts for infraction violations of the Vehicle Code are established by the Judicial Council of California in accordance with Penal Code Section 1269(c), Vehicle Code Section 40310, and Judicial Council of California Rule of Court 4.102 (Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule).

The Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule is established in order to achieve a State-wide standard of uniformity for setting bail on these violations.

Additional factors which may affect your ’Total Bail Amount Due’ include:

  1. The number of violations on your citation.
  2. The number of "Priors" on your California Driver License (see Priors amounts below).
What is the ‘STATE MANDATED SECURITY FEE’?

In 2003 The California State Legislature enacted Penal Code Section 1465.8, “To ensure and maintain adequate funding for court security, a fee of forty dollars ($40) shall be imposed on every violation and upon conviction for a criminal offense, including a traffic offense...”.

What is the ‘Priors’ fee listed on my Courtesy Notice?

Pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 42004 the Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma takes your California Driver License record into consideration when determining the total bail amount for your citation. Any conviction, for which the Department of Motor Vehicles assesses one or more 'points' in accordance with Vehicle Code Section 12810, and with a violation date within 36 months of the violation date shown on your courtesy notice, is considered a 'Prior'. Priors are assessed in the following ammounts:

Number
of priors
Amount Charged
One $51.00
Two $92.00
Three $133.00
Four $174.00
Five $215.00
Six $256.00
Can I make monthly payments to pay the bail or fine amount due on my citation?

If you are paying (forfeiting) the bail or fine amount due to close your case, the entire amount must be paid at one time. If you need more time to pay your ticket you may request an extension of your due date by calling (707) 521-6680.

If you would like a monthly payment plan, you must contact the court for more information. Payment plans may be set on most non-mandatory citations without a court appearance.

There is an additional fee of $35.00 charged when your case is placed on a monthly payment plan.If you would like to attend Traffic Violator School (TVS) on your citation, but are unable to pay in full, you may contact the court for further information and options.

Walk-in Court is heard Monday - Friday. Sign-up for Walk-in Court begins at 8:00 AM. There are a limited number of cases heard each court day on a first come basis. Walk-in Court typically begins at 9:00 AM.

Can I attend Traffic Violator School (TVS) on my citation?

Generally, the Courtesy Notice mailed to you by the court will indicate if your citation is eligible for assignment to Traffic Violator School (TVS). If eligible, you must first pay the "Total amount due with Traffic School" amount, as indicated on the Courtesy Notice.This amount includes a non-refundable Court Administrative fee. After the court receives your payment, you may sign-up and attend any classroom or internet traffic school which has been approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles and appears on their state-wide list. A copy of all available Department of Motor Vehicles approved traffic schools will be mailed to you after payment of the indicated TVS amount due is received by the court.

Your citation may be eligible for Traffic School if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You have not attended TVS in the last 18 months plus one day (calculated violation date to violation date - not Traffic School attendance date).
  2. You have a valid Driver's License. If you were cited while driving with a Class A, B or Commercial Class C driver's license on or after January 1, 2013, but were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation, you may attend traffic school, if eligible. Although the DMV will remove the point from the commercial license holder's driving record, they will not hold the conviction as confidential and your insurance may be adversely affected.
  3. Your speeding violation is not more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit
  4. Your violation did not occur in a commercial vehicle
How can I contest my citation?

If you wish to contest your citation, you may plead NOT GUILTY by using one of the following methods.

 

© 2016 Superior Court of Sonoma County