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Parking and Traffic TicketsPolice Department SBPD

Time Limit

Officer writing a traffic ticket You will have until the date shown on the citation to appear in court or to pay the fine, which is established by the court. If you have any questions about a traffic citation issued to you, call the court at 568-2780 (Traffic-8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Criminal-9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.).

Willful failure to appear as promised is a separate violation for which you may be arrested and punished by 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, regardless of the disposition of the original charge (California Vehicle Code Section 40508 and Penal Code Section 853.7). In addition the Department of Motor Vehicles is required to withhold the issuance or renewal of your driver's license and may revoke or suspend your driving privilege if you violate your written promise to appear when a traffic offense has been charged.

Paying the Fines

Fines can be paid in person or by check mailed along with the citation to the Santa Barbara Municipal Court, 118 E. Figueroa St., Santa Barbara, Ca. 93101.

Court Appearance

If you are unable to appear in court on the scheduled date, you can go to the Municipal Court building in person, five (5) days prior to the scheduled date, and ask for a new court date.

Citations for faulty equipment can be dismissed by the court if you show the court proof of correction. You are responsible to insure that the court receives the proper proof of correction. The Santa Barbara Police Department will provide you with proof of correction after you have corrected the violation.

To Plead Guilty to a Citation

If you plead guilty, you should either bring or mail the fine and citation to the Santa Barbara Municipal Court, 118 E. Figueroa Street, Santa Barbara, Ca. 93101.

To Plead Not Guilty to a Citation

You need to appear in the court specified on the citation and state your plea to the judge/commissioner. Your case will then be given a later date for you and the citing officer/person to testify in court or to write a declaration as to what had happened that caused the citation to be written. After the testimony has been heard/seen, the judge/commissioner will determine the final outcome.

Last Updated: Oct 9, 2014