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Fight Your Ticket:
If you haven't read the Links page section
about Fight Your Ticket, please be sure
to do so.
for and comments about Nolo Press book Fight Your Ticket
and Win in California, by David W.
Brown, 10th - 16th Editions only (I advise you
not to use an edition before the 15th).
have arranged these materials by subject matter,
with the subjects that are the most useful, or
on most people's minds, coming first.
11/14 - 15
230 - 236
231 - 236
249 - 257
Briefs 237 - 244
Best Evidence Rule 232
Taping a trial - see Recorder or Reporter
Change of Venue - see County Seats
16th Edition, July 2015 (the last in the series) -
If you have consulted the 16th Edition's index and cannot find what you're looking for, an alternative would be to go to Amazon . com's page for FYT and use Amazon's feature called "Search Inside This Book."
Briefs 222 - 229
Best Evidence Rule 217
Taping a trial - see Recorder or Reporter
Change of Venue - 177, 184, 185, 332, 363
the end of "Infraction Option # 1," Editions 10
- 13 say,
"Note, however, that
by pleading not guilty you give up your right to
attend traffic school and have the charges
like there's no chance of getting traffic school
once you've pled not guilty. I agree that
by pleading not guilty you do give up your automatic
right to attend traffic school - the granting of
it becomes a matter of the judge's
discretion. But it's been my observation
that most judges will still grant it if you ask
for it right at the beginning of the trial
session - and some will grant it even after
you've argued your case and have been found
the end of "Infraction Option # 2," Editions 10
- 15 say,
guilty, you have forfeited your opportunity to
attend traffic school."
# 1, above.
school: In Chapter 9, at the end of
"Infraction Option # 5," the 10th and 11th
you decide to fight (by pleading not guilty),
you usually forfeit the option of having your
case dismissed in exchange for attending traffic
2003 & 2005 when those editions were
published, "usually" exaggerated the
risk. See Comment # 1, above.
2013, "usually" is pretty accurate, especially
if you went to trial and actively argued your
case, then were found guilty.
same location (end of Option # 5), the 10th
and 11th Editions say,
Chapter 10, Section A2e.)"
should be "Section A3e."
school: In Chapter 14 (Section B3, or
page 300 in the 12th Ed., 302 in the 13th
Ed., 324 in the 14th Ed., 310 in the 15th
Ed., 292 in the 16th Ed.), all seven
editions (Eds. 10 - 15) say,
"You might remind
the judge that the law says a judge can't
routinely apply a policy against traffic school
for those who go to trial and lose. (People
v. Wozniak (1987) 197 Cal.App.3d Supp.
important information to have if you are
going to trial, and I do not understand why
the Wozniak decision is mentioned only one
time in Eds. 10 - 13, and then only "way in
The 14th, 15th and `6th Eds. mention Wozniak an additional time, on pages 138, 134 and 128, respectively, but I disagree with the explanation FYT gives there. I think that the true effect of Wozniak is to stop judges from making a general announcement to everyone in the courtroom, "If you try your case and lose, I won't give you traffic school."
9, in the middle of "Infraction Option # 5,"
Editions 10 - 13 say,
Traffic school cannot be chosen as an option more
than once in an 18-month period."
This was incomplete information. Editions 10 - 13 fail to mention, anywhere, the availability (ended July 2011) of Second Offender traffic school. Chapter 10 (Section A3(e) or page 155 in the 12th & 13th Eds., pages 153 and 149 in the 14th & 15th Eds. and page 143 in the 16th Ed., respectively), hint at its existence, though:
"...to prevent people from using this option more than twice over a certain period." (Emphasis added.)
But since Chapter 10 doesn't go on to mention Second Offender traffic school by name, a reader who has also read Chapter 9 will just end up wondering - "Can I only get traffic school once, or twice?"
(Second Offender traffic school is available only on tickets with violation dates before July 1, 2011.)
Tickets: Editions 10 - 12 fail to
mention, anywhere, the existence of Fake/Snitch
but the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Editions
do, on pages 255, 277, 262 and 246,
"Even if you do list the true driver, the worst that will usually happen is that he or she will receive what some people call a 'snitch ticket,' without the court's address, which is only a bluff, to which, unfortunately, many people respond and pay fines."
first document you receive is a Snitch
Ticket and you reply and give the police the
name of the true driver, that person will
receive a real ticket, to which they
Discovery and Evidence
serve: In Chapter 10 Brown
begins by instructing his readers to serve
their informal Discovery request on the DA.
is a Black Hole for infraction defendants,
and that serving only the DA is a
big mistake. Brown does mention also
serving the city attorney, but gives it
"second billing," where it might be
overlooked. See my advice about who to
serve, on my Getting
Chapter 10 all seven editions (Eds. 10
-16) have a 8+ page motion form
entitled "Notice of motion for
preclusion of testimony...."
This is the type of motion you would
file if the city fails to provide the
Discovery you requested.
have looked up all the case cites
given in the motion, and many
citations bear typographical
errors. Additionally, there are
no case cites newer than 1993,
something that is likely to make a
judge, even one who is not a legal
scholar, suspect that he is not being
presented with the latest and best law
on the subject - even if indeed it is
the latest and best.
seven editions (Eds. 10 - 16) have a couple
of motion forms where it says "It is hereby
ordered that plaintiff's motion
for...." That should say
instead: "defendant's motion."
The forms are entitled:
mentions the Best
Rule several times but does not discuss it
at any length, and only the 12th Edition
was published in 2005, nor the 12th Edition,
which was published in 2007, mentions
Assembly Bill 1022 of 2003 (effective
the extensive changes it made to VC 21455.5;
nor did they discuss the potential avenues
of defense opened by those changes.
to the County Seat (Change of Venue):
In Chap. 17 all seven editions (Eds.
10 - 16) have
a chart which lists which cities are and are
not part of the County Seat. In the
section for LA County, the East LA
courthouse is indicated to be part of the
County Seat, even though it is located in an
unincorporated area and is outside the
boundaries of the City of Los Angeles, and
the Chatsworth courthouse is not indicated
to in the County Seat, even though it is
inside the City of LA.
Sample Briefs/Motions, and Tear-Out Forms
just the DA being served. I
recommend that unless you are 100% sure
that it is the DA prosecuting your case,
you serve both the DA and
the city attorney.
seven editions contain tear-out copies of
standard legal forms that are now readily
available on the Internet. To avoid
having its readers try to use forms that may
have become out-of-date, FYT should delete
the tear -out forms and simply instruct its
readers to obtain the forms on the 'Net.