California Traffic Tickets: Fines, Violations, and Penalties
California traffic tickets will vary in fines and penalties depending on your actions and location. It may come as a shock when you receive a ticket or rightfully justified because of improper driving. All the details of your traffic fine will show on the ticket – giving you a better understanding of how and why you got it.
Your ticket fee may show and include:
- County and state penalties
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS) fees
- DNA Identification Fund Penalty
- Court Operations Assessment
- An extra 20% surcharge
The obvious solution is practicing safe driving. Yet, we all make mistakes and face the consequences.
You may choose to plead guilty to the ticket, incurring a fine and point son your record. Or, fight the ticket and go to trial on your own or with the help of a traffic attorney. This choice is up to you and it’s better done after you understand why you received the penalties.
California’s Point System and Traffic Fines
California has an extensive points system incurring 1 to 2 points per offense. This typically involves items like speeding, illegal U-turns, or causing a collision. Two points incur from serious offenses like reckless driving and driving under the influence.
Note that you may have your license suspended if you get too many points within a period:
- 4 points in 1-year
- 6 points in 2-years
- 8 points in 3-years
Instant suspensions and revocations happen for DUI convictions, transporting explosives or a firearm, or running from an officer. Anyone with a CDL will face similar but harsher fines and fees. Plus, it’s very likely auto insurance rates will increase because of these incidents.
Speeding Ticket Costs in California
A speeding ticket varies by how fast you’re going:
- 1 – 15 MPH over the speed limit: $35
- 16 – 25 MPH over the speed limit: $70
- 26+ MPH over the speed limit: $100
But, also remember you will have a surcharge and many other associated fees. Fines compound on the base fine. Your basic ticket could become hundreds of dollars once everything is accounted!
You may also need to take a driving school and pay higher premiums on your insurance – so do your best at staying at or below the speed limit!
Speeding in construction zones double while doing so in school zones have even heavier consequences.
Other Types of Moving and Non-Moving Violations
You may also incur ticketing for:
- Driving without a seatbelt
- Driving while texting
- Illegal turning
- Child seat violations
- Hit and run
- Illegal U-turns
- Driving without a license
Each of these is associated with either infraction, misdemeanors, or felony violations. They have variable repercussions depending if you’re a first-time or repeat offender. Expect to pay big if you do several of these violations in one go!