These violations are considered infractions and include, for example, speeding, cell phones, expired registrations, and dog licenses. Infractions are enforced by the issuance of citations ("tickets") by law enforcement. It is important to read the information on the front and back of the citation.
Information to note on the citation is the:
- Citation number
- Date and time of the citation
- Violations for which you were cited
- Place and time that you promised to appear
If you are cited for a traffic violation in Lassen County, the court will mail you a "courtesy" notice at the address listed on the citation.
Please allow approximately 5-6 weeks from the date you received your citation for the court to process your citation and mail a courtesy notice.
Most questions will be answered by the information provided on this notice and this page. For more information, including what to do if you do not receive a courtesy notice, see the Courtesy Notice section below.
You are still required to respond to your citation whether or not you receive a courtesy notice.
There are two ways you can get a Court Trial
- Enter plea and request a court trial: You may plead Not Guilty and schedule a court date to contest your citation. When entering your plea and requesting a court trial by mail or via the Online Payment Portal, you must remit the amount of bail indicated on the front of your Courtesy Notice by the appearance date. When paying, select the appropriate option or checkbox for 'I chose to enter a plea of Not Guilty, waive time, and request a Trial by Court' or indicate to the clerk how you wish to plea if paying in person or via telephone. You will be notified of the hearing date, time, and location by mail. If found not guilty, or if the case is otherwise dismissed, your bail will be refunded by mail.
- Appear on your appearance date: Alternatively, you may appear in court for arraignment on the appearance date indicated on your citation or Courtesy Notice and request that the matter be set for court trial. At your arraignment you will enter a plea. The arraigning judicial officer will schedule your trial date, and you will be required to return to court on that date. The officer who cited you will be notified to be present on your trial date. You do not need to post bail if you appear in court on your appearance date to request a court trial.
The court is currently permitting remote appearances for traffic proceedings. Follow the procedure and complete the Traffic Add-On Request form located on the Traffic Add-On Request page under Online Services if you wish to appear remotely. This form is required to be submitted no later than the Friday before your appearance date.
An arraignment is a hearing in which the court advises you of your rights and informs you of the charges against you. You will be asked to enter a plea to the charges:
- If you enter a plea of not guilty, the judicial officer will set a court trial date.
- If you enter a plea of guilty the judicial officer will sentence you.
- An arraignment is not a trial where arguments for a case are heard.
If you were cited for mechanical, registration, driver’s license or insurance violations, bring all proof of correction that you have with you to the arraignment.
Most citations do not require a personal appearance and can be handled by telephone or mail by paying the bail amount and/or providing proof of correction and paying the bail amount.
A court trial is a proceeding in which you appear in person to testify about the facts of your case. The officer who issued the citation will be required to appear. You have the right to subpoena witnesses and to have a lawyer present, if you retain one. At the trial, you must also be prepared to produce evidence, documents, or witnesses to support your case.
If you do not appear for your Court Trial, the judicial officer may find you guilty in absentia.
You can also contest your citation by mail via a Trial by Declaration. See the section below for additional information.
Vehicle Code § 40902 allows a defendant to contest Vehicle Code Infraction citations in writing, without having to make a personal court appearance. This procedure is called a "trial by declaration."
Trials by written declaration are available in cases involving infraction violations of the Vehicle Code or local ordinances adopted under the Vehicle Code. Trial by Declaration is not available for citations issued for offenses committed outside the presence of the citing officer (for example: a citation issued as the result of a traffic accident or citizen complaint).
The following steps must be met in order to qualify for a Trial by Written Declaration:
- Full bail must be paid no less than five days prior to the appearance date;
- Violation(s) must be vehicle code infractions only;
- No accident involved; and
- No failure to appear or failure to pay fine on the case.
See the Paying Your Ticket section below for citation payment options. When paying, select the appropriate option or checkbox for 'I choose to enter a plea of Not Guilty, waive time, and request a Trial by Declaration' or indicate to the clerk how you wish to plea if paying in person or via telephone.
Once your payment is received, the court will mail you and the officer the declaration forms to complete. These must be filled out completely and returned to the court by the Due Date listed on the form. The court will decide the case based upon the documents in the file and you will be notified by mail of the court's decision.
If found Not Guilty, or if the case is otherwise dismissed, your bail deposit will be returned to the depositor by mail within six to eight weeks.
If you are found Guilty, the sentence imposed will be a fine not exceeding the amount of bail deposited.
Failure to return your declaration timely may result in a finding of guilty and forfeiture of the bail deposited. No monthly payment options are available for Trial by Declaration cases.
If you wish to contest the result of the trial by declaration, you may file a Request for New Trial (Trial De Novo) [form TR-220] within 20 calendar days after the date the court mails you the Decision and Notice of Decision. The clerk is required to set a trial date within 45 calendar days of the receipt of your request for a trial de novo. (Vehicle Code §40902(d))
If your request for trial de novo is not received timely, no trial de novo will be held and the case will be closed. (California Rules of Court 4.210(b)(7))
If you received a citation/ticket for a traffic or other minor offense, a courtesy notice will be mailed to you at the address on the citation.
The notice includes:
- Court case/docket number
- Citation number
- The bail amount for this citation
- The due date (appearance date) when payment must be made
- Eligibility for Traffic Violator School (TVS)
- Information on clearing a "fix-it" violation with Proof of Correction (see Proof of Correction section below)
- Where and when to report if you would like to contest your citation
- How to post bail and pay for your citation
You should receive the courtesy notice about two weeks before your "promise to appear" date (appearance date), which is shown below your signature on the ticket.
Court employees cannot quote bail or provide information to you regarding your citation until the court receives the citation from the citing agency which may take up to two or three weeks.
If you do not receive your courtesy notice at least two weeks before your appearance date (or "promise to appear date") and/or do not understand your options, you may:
- Search for your citation online, click here;
- Call the court at 530-251-8205;
- Come in person to the courthouse;
- Inquire by mail prior to your appearance date.
If your address on the citation is incomplete or incorrect, contact the court in person or by phone at (530) 251-8205 to give a change of address.
You must take action on the citation on or before the due date listed on your Courtesy Notice. Not receiving your Courtesy Notice is not a legal excuse for failing to take care of the citation by its due date.
If you fail to appear or resolve your citation on or before the due date or any date to which your matter may have been continued by the clerk at your request, the court will proceed pursuant to Vehicle Code § 40903. This may result in:
- You being charged with a misdemeanor violation for failure to appear along with $260.55 in additional penalties
- Charged up to $100.00 civil assessment fee per 1214.1 PC
- The court notifying the DMV to hold, or refuse to renew, your driving privileges
- A warrant being issues for your arrest
- Your case being referred to collections or the State Franchise Tax Board for further action
If you have a financial hardship, see the Financial Hardship page for information on requesting a fine reduction as well as asking for a payment plan, extension, or to complete community service instead of paying fines and fees
If your appearance in court is required/mandatory, your courtesy notice will indicate such. If a mandatory appearance is required, you must appear at the Hall of Justice as indicated.
The bail on a citation is the amount of money required to guarantee your appearance in court. If you choose to pay the bail on the citation without going to court, it is called a bail forfeiture. The citation is deemed paid and the resulting conviction will be reported on your driving record. When you elect to forfeit bail, you are waiving your right to a trial, entering a plea of guilty to the charges, and paying the fine without appearance in court. If you elect to proceed by this option, you may sign and complete the portion on the back of your Courtesy Notice and provide to the court the total bail amount indicated on the Courtesy Notice, along with any proof of correction that is required prior to the due date. If no proof of correction is required on any violation, you may also make your plea and pay online or by telephone.
If there are any mechanical, registration, or insurance violations included in the citation, proof of correction will be required before you can pay the amount due, with the completed proof of correction found on your Courtesy Notice. Proof of correction must be submitted by mail or in person. For additional information regarding proof of correction, please refer to the section below entitled "Proof of Correction".
There are four options for paying a citation:
- In-person: Hall of Justice, 2610 Riverside Drive, Susanville, CA 96130
- By telephone: Call the court at (530) 251-8205 and follow the prompts to make a payment.
- By mail: Lassen Superior Court, 2610 Riverside Drive, Susanville, CA 96130.
NOTE: If paying by check or money order, please make payable to "Lassen Superior Court" and write the case number in the memo section of the check.
Please do not mail cash.
If you can't afford to pay your fine, see the Financial Hardship page for information on requesting a fine reduction as well as asking for a payment plan, extension, or to complete community service instead of paying fines and fees.
Only offenses deemed correctable by an officer can be dismissed after proof of correction is shown to the court.
- Equipment "fix-it" violations: After you have corrected the violation, proof of correction may be verified and signed off by a law enforcement officer on the back of your traffic citation. You may go to any authorized law enforcement agency and they will sign off on the back of your citation. Pursuant to Government Code §26746.1, a law enforcement agency may charge a fee to sign off a correctable violation.
- Brake light, smog device, or muffler violations: These violations may be signed off by any station licensed to inspect and certify for the violation.
- Registration and/or License violations: If the violation(s) corrected involve registration or driver's license violations, clerical staff from the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may verify and sign off the correction. Correction of these violations may require payment of fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The original signed-off correction (a copy will not be accepted) must be submitted to the court by mail or in person by the appearance date along with a transaction fee of $25 for EACH corrected violation.
If your ticket is written for both an equipment and moving violation, and you attend traffic school, you must submit your proof of correction with your traffic school certificate and a check or money order to cover both the transaction fee ($25 for EACH corrected violation) and the traffic school administrative fee.
- Proof of insurance that was valid prior to the issuance of your citation: The proof of insurance must specify the vehicle cited in addition to the effective dates (which the date of violation must be within). When this proof is shown to the court clerk the violation may be dismissed. You must still pay the appropriate court fees and resolve by the due date.
- Proof of insurance that was obtained after the issuance of your citation: The proof of insurance must specify the vehicle cited in addition to the effective dates. When this proof is shown to the court clerk your bail/fee may be reduced. You must also pay the appropriate court fees by the due date. The court is required to assess a minimum fine pursuant to Vehicle Code §16029.
- Second/subsequent violations and/or an accident occurs and you are driving without insurance: Pursuant to Vehicle Code §16028(c), this may result in a mandatory court appearance requiring your appearance in court. If you show proof of valid insurance and pay the appropriate court fees prior to your court appearance date, the case may be taken off calendar. The proof of insurance must specify the vehicle cited in addition to the effective dates.
If you no longer own the vehicle or cannot show proof of correction or proof of insurance, it is still your responsibility to clear the citation by either paying the bail or appearing in court to explain to the judge. You should bring to court any relevant paperwork that will support your case (i.e. proof of sale).
NOTE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.
The Courtesy Notice sent to you by the court will indicate your initial eligibility to attend traffic school.
Payment for TVS
To attend TVS, pay the amount due (bail amount), plus the Traffic Violator School fee of $52, before the Appearance Date. Your TVS Certificate of Completion is due within 90 days of payment. An additional fee will be charged by the traffic school that you attend. Upon completion of TVS and receipt of the Certificate of Completion, the case will be closed and reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles as a confidential conviction.
You must pay the bail amount of your citation plus the $52 TVS fee before your 'certificate of completion' will be accepted by the court. Traffic school must be completed and your 'certificate of completion' must be provided to the court within 90 days.
You are responsible for contacting and attending the traffic school of your choice. You will be required to pay a separate fee to the traffic school you choose. A list of approved courses can be found on the California DMV website - HERE.
If you fail to attend or to provide the court with the required Certificate of Completion form within 90 days, the Traffic School Administration fee paid to the court pursuant to Vehicle Code § 42007 will be converted to bail and declared forfeited per Vehicle Code § 40512.6. The violation will be reported to the DMV as a conviction.
- You must currently possess a valid driver’s license
- You may not have attended Traffic School in the last 18-month period
WARNING: If you are not eligible to attend, but do so anyway, the conviction will be reported to DMV and there will be no refund of any fees paid.
A court clerk is not authorized to grant a request to attend traffic violator school for a misdemeanor or any of the following infractions:
- A violation that carries a negligent operator point count of more than one point under Vehicle Code section 12810 or one and one-half points or more under Vehicle Code § 12810.5(b)(2);
- A violation that occurs within 18 months after the date of a previous violation and the defendant either attended or elected to attend a traffic violator school for the previous violation
- A violation of Vehicle Code § 22406
- A violation related to alcohol use or possession or drug use or possession
- A violation on which the defendant failed to appear under Vehicle Code § 40508(a) unless the failure-to-appear charge has been adjudicated and any fine imposed has been paid
- A violation on which the defendant has failed to appear under Penal Code § 1214.1 unless the civil monetary assessment has been paid
- A speeding violation in which the speed alleged is more than 25 miles over a speed limit
- A violation that occurs in a commercial vehicle as defined in Vehicle Code § 15210(b)
You are responsible for the delivery of your Certificate of Completion form to the court by the due date. You should confirm with the court that your certificate was timely received.
The $25 fee for each correctable violation is statutory pursuant to Vehicle Code § 40611.
Yes, unless the ticket is issued in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle you are driving.
If you have sold the car or if it have become inoperable, you must set a court date to appear and provide proof of sale or inoperability to clear the ticket. You should bring to court any relevant paperwork that will support your case.
The $52 administrative fee is a statutory fee that is required to be remitted to the court when requesting traffic school. The schools are privately owned companies that have been approved for your attendance. None of the $52 administrative fee goes to the school. The $52 administrative fee goes towards monitoring the curriculum, developing school lists, and staffing for the TVS clerk position. It supports the process that allows you to attend Traffic School.
It is required pursuant to Vehicle Code § 42007. The benefit of traffic school attendance is that the conviction will be suppressed on your DMV record, and will not count as a point on your driving history.
You must request a court date to explain it to a judicial officer.
Missing your due date could result in a failure to appear charge being added to your citation, larger fine amounts due, and a negative impact on your driving record.
Drivers must handle tickets even if they do not live in the State of California. Citations may be paid online with a credit card. If you live out of the country and choose to pay by check or money order, it must be paid in U.S. dollars.
The court is currently permitting remote appearances for traffic matters. If you wish to contest your citation by a court trail, you may appear remotely for your traffic appearance, follow the procedure and complete the Traffic Add-On Request form located on the Traffic Add-On Request page under Zoom Appearances. Review the information contained on these pages for additional information, rules, policies, and restrictions.