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Fight Your Ticket: Addenda
FYT is Somewhat Out-of-Date, and Contains Some Errors - But Remains an Important Resource

If you haven't read the Links page section about Fight Your Ticket, please be sure to do so.

These are my additional index entries 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).

I have arranged these materials by subject matter, with the subjects that are the most useful, or on most people's minds, coming first.

A:  Additional Entries Needed in FYT's Index

11th Edition, July 2005 -

Briefs 11/14 - 15
Best Evidence Rule 11/12
10/5 - 8, 10/21 - 23, 10/26, 10/30 - 41, 11/13, 16/5
Speedy trial 10/21 - 23
Taping a trial 10/28 - 30, 12/4 - 5, 16/16
Waiving time (for speedy trial) 10/21 - 22

12th Edition, July 2007 -

Briefs 230 - 236
Discovery 155 - 159, 174, 176, 179, 185 - 195, 229, 320
Speedy trial 173 - 175
Taping a trial 181 - 183,  269, 336
Change of Venue 169, 176, 181, 195, 320, 357 

13th Edition, July 2009 -

Briefs 231 - 236
Best Evidence Rule 228
Discovery 155 - 159, 167 - 168, 174, 176, 179, 185 - 195, 229, 273, 322
Red light camera tickets 175 - 178, 254 - 258
Speedy trial 165, 166 - 167, 168 - 169, 173 - 175, 176, 181, 201 - 209, 321
Taping a trial 181 - 183, 271, 338
Change of Venue 13, 139, 169, 176, 181, 184, 195 - 198, 283, 322, 359 - 360

14th Edition, July 2011 -

Briefs 249 - 257
Best Evidence Rule 246
Discovery 346
Red light camera ticket 276 - 280
Taping a trial  - see Recorder or Reporter
Change of Venue - see County Seats

15th Edition, July 2013  -

Briefs 237 - 244
Best Evidence Rule 232
Discovery 332
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

B:  Traffic School and Second Offender Traffic School


Traffic school:  In Chapter 9, at 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 dismissed."

That's misleading.  It makes it sound 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 guilty.


Traffic school:  In Chapter 9, at the end of "Infraction Option # 2," Editions 10 - 15 say,

"But remember, once you've pleaded not guilty, you have forfeited your opportunity to attend traffic school."

That is flat-out  incorrect.  See Comment # 1, above.


Traffic school:  In Chapter 9, at the end of "Infraction Option # 5," the 10th and 11th Editions say,

"Warning:  If you decide to fight (by pleading not guilty), you usually forfeit the option of having your case dismissed in exchange for attending traffic school."

Back in 2003 & 2005 when those editions were published, "usually" exaggerated the risk.  See Comment # 1, above.

Now in 2013, "usually" is pretty accurate, especially if you went to trial and actively argued your case, then were found guilty.

In the same location (end of Option # 5), the 10th and 11th Editions say,

"(See Chapter 10, Section A2e.)"

That should be "Section A3e."


Traffic 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. 43)"

This is 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 back."

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."


Second Offender traffic school:  In Chapter 9, in the middle of "Infraction Option # 5," Editions 10 - 13 say,

"Note:  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:

" 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.)

C:  Police Trickery


Fake Tickets:  Editions 10 - 12 fail to mention, anywhere, the existence of Fake/Snitch Tickets, but the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Editions do, on pages 255, 277, 262 and 246, respectively.
Unfortunately, they did not get it right.  FYT says:

"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."

Actually, if the 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 must respond.

D:  Discovery and Evidence


Discovery, who to serve:  In Chapter 10 Brown begins by instructing his readers to serve their informal Discovery request on the DA.  I think the DA's office 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 Records/Discovery page.


Discovery:  In 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.

I 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.


Discovery:  In Chapter 10 all 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:
A.  "Order granting defendant's motion for preclusion of testimony..." and
B.  "Order granting defendant's motion for monetary sanctions."


FYT mentions the Best Evidence Rule several times but does not discuss it at any length, and only the 12th Edition indexes it.

E:  Defenses


Defenses:  Neither the 11th Edition, which was published in 2005, nor the 12th Edition, which was published in 2007, mentions Assembly Bill 1022 of 2003 (effective Jan. 1, 2004) or the extensive changes it made to VC 21455.5; nor did they discuss the potential avenues of defense opened by those changes.
  Later editions go into these changes, in detail.


Transferring the ticket 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.  

F:  Sample Briefs/Motions, and Tear-Out Forms


Some of the sample Briefs/Motions show 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.


All 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.
An example:  The 12th & 13th Editions carry a tear-out copy of SUBP-002, a Subpoena Duces Tecum form, which, on July 1, 2007 (a couple of months before the 12th Edition appeared in stores) was superseded by the very different form CR-125.  See the Getting Records page for details about CR-125.