ADA
hearing types

This page tells you about the five kinds of hearings for traffic cases:

  1. Arraignment
  2. Trial
  3. Motion to Set Aside Bail Forfeiture
  4. Traffic School Hearing
  5. Request by Defendant Hearing
  1. Arraignment

    This is the first hearing after you get your citation (ticket). At this hearing, the Commissioner will:

    • tell you what the charges are
    • tell you about your rights
    • ask you if you want to plead "guilty, not guilty, or no contest."
  2. Trial

    The trial is when a Judge or Commissioner hears what both parties say about an action. The Judge or Commissioner will determine the facts of the case and apply the law to the facts stated in trial.

    If your case is an infraction you can have a "Court Trial" (a trial that is heard and decided by a Judge or Commissioner).

    You can have a "Jury Trial" if you have been charged with a misdemeanor.

  3. Motion to Set Aside Bail Forfeiture

    If you lose your bail deposit (Bail Bond or Cash Bail) because you failed to appear in court, you can ask for a hearing to get the bail money back.

    You can ask for this hearing in person or in writing. You must ask for it within 180 days after your bail has been forfeited.

    The clerk will ask you to pay a filing fee to file your motion. (See the local fee schedule  listing filing fees.)

  4. Traffic School Hearing

    Your courtesy notice will say if you are eligible for Traffic School. You can register for Traffic School in person, by mail, by phone or online.

    Learn how to register for traffic school on the Traffic School page.

    You may want to ask for a Traffic School hearing if:

    • Your courtesy notice does not say you are eligible for Traffic School. You can ask for Traffic School at this hearing.
    • You need an extension to complete or sign up for Traffic School. (Extension does not apply when you are past the deadline.)
  5. Request by Defendant Hearing

    This hearing is for certain types of requests that the clerk’s office cannot help you with. For example, to:

    • convert fine payments to volunteer service
    • ask for more time to pay a fine, if your matter is not delinquent
© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara