How to Beat a Speeding Ticket in California

By Miranda Miller - Updated March 15, 2018
Speed Limit Sign

Now that your heart has stopped pounding from being pulled over, avoid racking up more points on your driver’s license, going to court and paying an expensive fine by filing a Request for Trial by Written Declaration form to beat a speeding ticket in California.

Contest a Speeding Ticket With a Written Declaration

California law enables recipients of speeding tickets to defend themselves in writing, unless:

  • they were drunk or high when they were given the ticket
  • their court appearance date has already passed
  • their ticket says they have to go to court

To request a trial by written declaration, ask the court clerk for a form or send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the court address on your ticket, and the court will mail one to you. Once you receive the form, fill it out and include evidence, such as a letter telling the court what happened and statements from witnesses. After you fill it out, put it in an envelope and mail it to the court by the due date.

Submit Bail Money

You’ll also need to send bail money via check or money order – just in case you lose your case. The bail money is in exchange for not having to appear in court. The court clerk will tell you how much to send, or the amount required will appear on a courtesy notice the court mails you with your form.When the court clerk receives the Request for a Trial by Written Declaration and the supporting evidence, he will notify the police officer who gave you the speeding ticket. That officer will be given time to reply to the court.

How You’ll Know the Outcome

The court will notify you by mail. Although police officers get paid to appear in court, the outcome may still be in your favor. Responding to a Request for Trial by Written Declaration is just added paperwork. If the officer who gave you the speeding ticket neglects to reply to the request by the due date, your ticket will be dismissed and you’ll get your bail money back by mail.

About the Author

Miranda is a Cleveland-based content writer and magazine writer.

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