Overview of the basics
What is Trial by Written Declaration?
If your ticket is an 'Infraction, the California Vehicle Code gives you the option to contest your ticket via mail rather than attending Court. It's called 'Trial by Written Declaration' and it is laid out in section 40902 of the CVC.
How does it work?
A Trial by Written declaration must be submitted on or before the appearance date shown on the ticket. In addition to detailing out your defense, you must complete a 'Request for Trial by written Declaration (TR-205)' form.
The bad news about at Trial by Written Declaration
You must send in the full amount owed on your ticket with the request for trial by written declaration. A trial by written declaration will not be heard without payment in full. If you are successful with your contest, they money will be refunded. Anecdotally, the success rates of Trial by Written Declaration are less than with an attorney (60% vs. 90%).
The good news about a Trial by Written Declaration
If you are not happy with the court's decision, you may ask for a new trial ("trial de novo"). In order to request a new trial, you must file the Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo) (form TR-220) within 20 days after the date the court's decision was mailed to you.
Providers of Trial by Written Declaration
At Fixed, we don't offer a Trial by Written declaration service, but if you'd like to proceed with that option, these two companies are some of the largest providers of the service in California.
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