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TRAFFIC TICKETS IN CALIFORNIA
Civil Court

Civil court is where judges handle any kind of case other than criminal cases. Whenever anybody has a complaint for damages amounting to over $20, the Seventh Amendment lets them have a full-blown jury trial. But that doesn't apply to tickets.

While traffic, parking, and camera tickets are technically civil cases, they don't violate any federal mandates. Since they're almost exclusively handled at the local level, you don't get a jury trial for these civil cases. Such tickets are called traffic infractions. They're non-criminal violations of the California Vehicle Code (CVC).

Instead, you'll likely have only a few minutes to argue your case against an expert police officer who has been doing this for their entire career. On the bright side, no civil charges can send you to prison.

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