We all know traffic tickets can be a hassle. Not only that, but they can be costly and sometimes unwarranted. For instance, imagine you’re driving in an unfamiliar place, and you get lost, ultimately making a wrong turn. As you try to reroute yourself, an officer pulls you over and is unforgiving of your distressing situation, ending in a traffic citation. Normally, if you want to contest the citation, you’ll have to travel miles away from your home to the area you got your ticket to fight the case. Luckily, in California you can ask for your case to be relocated to a better location by requesting the county seat at the time of conviction. This gives you the chance to contest the ticket in a more centralized location and may help dismiss your case altogether.
But what is the county seat? The county is classified as the governmental center of a particular county and is typically located in the downtown area of large cities. Thus, if your home or place of employment is closer to the county seat courthouse rather than where you were cited, you can ask for your case to be heard at the county seat instead, according to section 40502(b) of the California Vehicle Code. This can be helpful in large counties such as Los Angeles that can stretch for thousands of miles or in areas where you are unfamiliar with the court proceedings.
Why You Should Request the County Seat
Besides moving your case to a better location, you even have a chance of getting the case dismissed and here’s why:
- The county seat may be far from where the officer cited you—meaning the officer will have to take time away from their regular patrol duties to drive all the way to where your case is being held to contest the ticket. This makes it more likely for the officer to not show up, easily dismissing your case.
- The police officer may also not be familiar with the county seat’s court procedures or policies, making it more difficult for them to contest the ticket.
- If the county seat is in your immediate area, the judge may be more lenient on you because you’re a local resident, giving you an immediate advantage.
How to Request the County Seat
If you want to ask for the county seat, you must do it at the time you are being cited. Once you feel the officer that stopped you will issue a citation, ask for your case to be heard at the county seat. If the police officer writes your ticket without telling you first, still request the county seat and make a note saying “requested the county seat” next to your signature when asked to sign the ticket. This way, even if the officer refuses your request, it can still help build a defense for your case dismissal.
Keep in mind that after you ask for a change in venue, the officer will know you are contesting the ticket and may make more detailed notes for the judge about the incident. Also, be sure to let the police officer know you live closer to the county seat as a valid reason to change the location.
What You Should Do Next
So, you requested the county seat and are back home, anxiously awaiting your court date. Now what?
Best course of action is to contact a traffic expert, such as a traffic ticket attorney, and discuss the possibilities of winning your case with them. Many tickets are dismissed because the police officer fails to appear or doesn’t remember the case well enough in court—and this is where an attorney comes in handy. With the help of a traffic ticket attorney, you can get your case dismissed without ever having to step foot in courtroom—so you can rest easy while they do all the heavy lifting.
Traffic ticket attorneys help guide you through the process—filing necessary paperwork, appearing in court on your behalf, speaking with the judge, and updating you in real-time on how your case is coming along. For a free consultation, contact the law offices of Scott Desind & Klijian, a long-standing traffic ticket firm that specializes in Los Angeles cases. Call (310) 455-6810 today to speak to a traffic expert and get your case dismissed.
Counties & County Seats in California:
- Alameda County | Oakland
- Alpine County | Markleeville
- Amador County | Jackson
- Butte County | Oroville
- Calaveras County | San Andreas
- City and County of San Francisco | San Francisco
- Colusa County | Colusa
- Contra Contra County | Martinez
- Del Norte County | Crescent City
- El Dorado County | Placerville
- Fresno County | Fresno
- Glenn County | Willows
- Humboldt County | Eureka
- Imperial County | El Centro
- Inyo County | Independence
- Kern County | Bakersfield
- Kings County | Hanford
- Lake County | Lakeport
- Lassen County | Susanville
- Los Angeles County | Los Angeles
- Madera County | Madera
- Marin County | San Rafael
- Mariposa County | Mariposa
- Mendocino County | Ukiah
- Merced County | Merced
- Modoc County | Alturas
- Mono County | Bridgeport
- Monterey County | Salinas
- Napa County | Napa
- Nevada County | Nevada City
- Orange County | Santa Ana
- Placer County | Auburn
- Plumas County | Quincy
- Riverside County | Riverside
- Sacramento County | Sacramento
- San Benito County | Hollister
- San Bernardino County | San Bernardino
- San Diego County | San Diego
- San Joaquin County | Stockton
- San Luis Obispo County | San Luis Obispo
- San Mateo County | Redwood City
- Santa Barbara County | Santa Barbara
- Santa Clara County | San Jose
- Santa Cruz County | Santa Cruz
- Shasta County | Redding
- Sierra County | Downieville
- Siskiyou County | Yreka
- Solano County | Fairfield
- Sonoma County | Santa Rosa
- Stanislaus County | Modesto
- Sutter County | Yuba City
- Tehama County | Red Bluff
- Trinity County | Weaverville
- Tulare County | Visalia
- Tuolumne County | Sonora
- Ventura County | Ventura
- Yolo County | Woodland
- Yuba County | Marysville
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