Everyone knows the oldest trick in the book when it comes to traffic court. Get your case continued a number of times in hopes that the police officer does not show up. Amir v. Superior Court teaches us a NEW trick and we get it as a RIGHT.
If you get a ticket far away from your home, ask to have the case heard in the county seat. The Appellate Court holds that the traffic court does NOT have discretion but rather HAS to permit the move. In this case, Mr. Amir receives a speeding ticket in Lancaster, California. He asks the court to move his case to downtown Los Angeles. His request gets denied. But YOURS won’t be denied as the Appellate Court now decided the ambiguity in the language of the statute (if there was any, to begin with).
Veh. Code Section 40502 states that the case can be heard in the court (a) “nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the arrest is made [OR] (b) Upon demand of the person arrested, … at the county seat of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed [if that location is closer to his/her work or resdience].”
The traffic court and police argued that it would be too expensive and inconvenient to the citing agency to travel to the county seat. But the statute is silent as to such considerations, requiring simply that, once criteria regarding proximity to work or residence are satisfied, a request MUST be granted “upon demand”
Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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