The traffic ticket due date to appear in court is a point of frustration for defendants and manipulation by the court. Here, we will address what happens when someone actually goes to court on the due date.
The bottom of a traffic ticket in Los Angeles County, whether issued by Torrance Police or California Highway Patrol, should have a due date or a date to appear in court. This date is right under the signature area–the space where the officer told you to sign your name. This signature is a promise to appear. (In lieu of being arrested, the police are releasing you on your promise to appear.)
The confusing part is that when people go to the Torrance Courthouse, or Compton Courthouse or Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, known as “Long Beach Court,” on this due date, the court tells them that they cannot go to court. They must set a future date to appear before the traffic ticket court judge. So now, a person took time off from work to make the due date but is told to come back another day. This seems like a punishment, to force someone to take time off work just to be told to come back another day. The court knows in advance that they are going to do this to people.
The Los Angeles Superior Court could easily avoid this problem if the due date stated: Go online to lacourt.org and set a date to appear in court or take other action as indicated online, no later than this due date. However, they probably do not do this because once someone comes to see a court clerk (missing work, standing in a long line) they will probably just pay off their ticket to avoid these types of fiascos on another court date. It is essentially a built-in manipulator to collect money. They drag someone through the process so the person will not want to come back, leading to just paying the money money. Smart, yes, but not friendly to the public. Everyone gets a traffic ticket at some time, but it should not give the Superior Court of California the right to make the process so confusing.
Thus, when people ask me why they should hire an attorney on a speeding ticket, red light ticket, stop sign, etc., maybe the best answer should be to avoid being manipulated by the system and saving yourself hours of standing in line and returning to court multiple times.
If you have a due date in Torrance, or Long Beach, hire an attorney with excellent reviews and traffic court experience to do the leg work and make good things happen for you.