Traffic cases involve violations of the California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) code and other minor offenses.
If you receive a traffic citation, you have several options available, depending on the type of violation cited and how you choose to plead. California Courts are under no obligation to send bail notices; however, our court does mail a courtesy notice to the address written on the citation. The notice indicates the bail amount, with or without proof of correction if applicable. You must take action to resolve or contest your citation by the appearance date written at the bottom of the citation.
If you do not take action, your case will be considered "Failure to Appear" and additional fines/fees may be added to your original bail. Once your case goes to "FTA" and you still do not take care of your case it will be turned over to Shasta County Superior Court Collections Unit for collections with an additional $300.00 civil assessment fee added to your bail and a hold may be placed on your driver's license (pursuant to CVC 40509/40509.5). Failure to receive the courtesy notice is not an acceptable excuse for not clearing the citation by the appearance date listed on the citation.
You may forfeit the full bail amount indicated on your notice unless your court appearance is mandatory. You may send a personal check, certified bank check or money order in U.S. funds made payable to the COLUSA SUPERIOR COURT. The court address is 532 Oak Street; Colusa, CA 95932. DO NOT MAIL CASH.
Moving violations are violations related to the driving and operation of a motor vehicle. Penalties and options for moving violations may include a fine, proof of correction, attendance at traffic violator school, or entering a plea of not guilty, posting bail and requesting a court trial. In some instances a mandatory court appearance may be required.
Correctable Violations (Commonly Called a "Fix-It" Ticket)
A correctable violation is one that pertains to vehicle registration, driver’s license, insurance or defective or broken equipment. If you receive a citation for a correctable violation, you may submit proof of correction with the appropriate fee(s), either by mail or in person to the Traffic Division. To establish proof of correction, a law enforcement officer or other authority as indicated below must sign the back of your citation or courtesy notice listing each violation that was corrected.
- Registration/Driver's License Violations can be certified by a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) clerk, a traffic clerk or law enforcement agency.
- Proof of Insurance for VC 16028(a) violations may be submitted directly to the court. If you were covered by insurance at the time you received the traffic citation but the proof of insurance was not in the vehicle, you can mail or bring your insurance policy or insurance card showing the dates of coverage to the Traffic Division. For a single violation, a fee of $25 must be paid to the Court. Multiple violations must be paid in full. If submitting proof through the mail, please make checks payable to Colusa Superior Court and include your case or citation number.
If you purchased insurance coverage after you received the citation, you may mail a copy or bring your insurance policy or insurance card, showing the effective dates of coverage, to the clerk's office and the fine for the insurance violation only may be reduced to $499.00.
If you did not have insurance and do not intend to purchase it, you must pay the entire amount due reflected on your courtesy notice.
You also have the option to contest the citation by entering a not guilty plea and requesting a Court Trial or a Trial by Written Declaration.
If you are unable to pay the full fine by the due date see the information below for payment options. If you fail to clear your citation by the due date, a civil assessment and additional penalties in the amount of $300 may be added.
California Rules of Court, Rule 4.105
Pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 4.105, you will not be required to deposit the bail amount if you appear for arraignment or trial unless you elect a statutory procedure that requires the deposit of bail.
California Rules of Court, Rules 4.106 and 4.335
You have the right to petition the Court to reduce or vacate the civil assessment or for a judicial officer to determine if you have the ability to pay your fine.
Reduce or Vacate Civil Assessment
You must ask the Court, in writing, for a review of your circumstances. You have the option to ask the Court to make a determination based on your declaration and supporting documents or request to appear before a judicial officer to be heard. The judicial officer will make the determination of whether or not there is good cause to reduce or vacate the civil assessment. The petition can be obtained from the clerk's office or you can download the petition form.
You may ask the Court for an ability-to-pay determination at sentencing or while the judgment remains unpaid. Your petition will be reviewed by a judicial officer to determine your ability to pay your fine. The court may:
- Allow you to make installment payments;
- Allow you to complete community service to satisfy your fine;
- Suspend the fine, in part or in whole;
- Set the matter for a hearing; or
- Deny the petition.
The petition can be obtained from the clerk's office or you can download the petition form.
Court clerks cannot reduce bail or dismiss cases. Requests for bail reductions must be made in person to the Judge during a traffic arraignment calendar on Mondays at 12:30p.m. If you choose to appear in court you must check in at the clerk's office before the 12:30p.m. court start time.
Because of the volume of letters requesting bail reductions or dismissals, our Judges simply cannot read them. It would be unfair for some letters to be read and not others. Typically, bail is not reduced.
Upon receipt of your completed form and/or your first $50 payment or request to pay your bail in one (1) lump sum within six (6) weeks, your plea will be entered and an accounts receivable will be initiated. Please write your docket number on each payment that you send to the court. If you move prior to paying your account in full, you will need to provide the court with an updated address.
If your citation includes correctable violations, proof of correction also needs to be provided when returning the plea form so that the bail can be reduced.
To do so you must complete the Agreement to Pay and Forfeit Bail in Installments form. In order for the court to accept partial payments for bail and proof of correction, you must read, complete and return the Agreement form to the Court by the appearance date on your citation. Return it to the court with your first payment of $50.00, along with any proof/s of correction you may have. Please also read the second page of the form and initial on the second page that you have read and understand your rights you are giving up. You do not qualify for bail payments if your courtesy notice says mandatory appearance.
This method of dealing with your citation is not available if you will be attending traffic school.
A $35.00 administrative fee will be added to the total bail due for any Agreement form received by the court. Without proof of correction and no likelihood of obtaining proof of correction, the entire bail amount for that charge will be added to the bail balance.
Once your Agreement form is received by the court with your first $50.00 payment, a clerk will process your request within 7 days, set up your payment schedule, calculate the monthly payment amount due and then mail a copy of the Agreement back to you. It is up to you to follow up and mail your payments in a timely manner. There is no grace period. The court does not take responsibility for delivery delays of your form or your payment. The court cannot accept credit cards for partial bail payments.
Forfeiture of bail is the same as a conviction of the offense and it will result in a conviction on your driving record.
Failure to comply with an Agreement to Pay and Forfeit Bail in Installments will result in a Failure to Appear charge being added to your case, increased assessments, suspension of your driving privilege and the case being referred to Shasta County Superior Court Collections Unit.
If your case has been turned over to Shasta County Superior Court Collections Unit, you MUST contact them to determine the total due. Their phone number is (530)-225-5205 or email email@example.com. You may make partial payments to Shasta County Superior Court Collections Unit in any amount, however if there is a DMV hold on your driver's license, the hold will not be released until you have paid Shasta County Superior Court Collections Unit in full with verified funds.
Installment payments are not authorized for traffic school - you MUST pay in full.
If you are eligible and want to attend traffic school, return your signed courtesy notice along with your original bail amount plus the $52 state mandated fee by your appearance date. This court permits attendance only at DMV approved traffic schools.
YOU MAY ACCESS THE CALIFORNIA DMV APPROVED LIST OF TRAFFIC SCHOOL PROGRAMS AT: http://dmv.ca.gov/olinq2/welcome.do .
You will not receive any further notice from the court. It is your responsibility to contact the school, register and attend the course and then submit your signed completion certificate to the court by the due date given to you either by the court or sent with your courtesy notice. If you decide not to attend traffic school or your certificate is not received at the court by the due date, a conviction of the charge will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles and your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.
Traffic schools are private businesses and charge a fee to attend the course.
If you are charged with an infraction violation you may plead not guilty by sending the amount of bail and returning your signed bail notice requesting a court trial and entering a plea of not guilty. Such requests must be received by the court five days prior to your appearance date. YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED THROUGH THE MAIL OF THE DATE AND TIME OF YOUR TRIAL. You may also appear in court and plead not guilty and you will not be required to deposit the bail amount.