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Traffic Court

Cases Involving Driving and Vehicular Laws



Traffic cases involve violations of the California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) code. There are three general types of violations:


  • Parking Tickets:  These are not reported to the court; however, the ticket contains instructions to be followed including what to pay, to whom, how, etc.

  • Traffic Infractions and Misdemeanors:  Most of these cases are handled by the Traffic Division

  • Felony Violations:  These cases are heard at the Main Courthouse in Madera and at the Sierra Division for offenses that occur in Eastern Madera County.


More information about traffic violations can be found in the traffic section of the California Self-Help website.


Normal window hours are: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM


For Traffic Infractions, there are two types of trials available:

  • Court Trial:  A hearing in person held before a Judicial Officer.  Both you and the officer who issued the citation must appear in court.  The officer will state why a citation was issued.  You will be able to speak on your own behalf or have witnesses testify regarding what happened.  A Judge or Commissioner will make a determination on whether or not a crime was committed.

  • Trial by Declaration:  Allows you to contest the citation in writing instead of in person.  Both you and the officer who issued the citation must complete forms and file them with the Court before a specified date.  A Judge or Commissioner will review the documents filed and make a determination on whether or not a crime was committed and will issue a written ruling.

To ask for a court trial:

Court trials may be requested in person or by mail.  You will need to plead "not guilty" and the clerk will set your matter for a court trial. 

You can hire a lawyer to represent you or you may represent yourself.  The Court will not hire an attorney to represent you in an infraction case. 

If you require the assistance of an Interpreter, notify the Traffic Division at least one week before your hearing.



The fees and fines imposed in these divisions are according to statute.

The Judicial Council's Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule can be found here.  Please note, legislatively mandated penalties and assessments are calculated on top of the base bail listed on the bail schedule resulting in an increased fine.  Additionally, Judicial Officers are afforded judicial discretion and may lower or increase the fines based on the circiumstances in each individual case.

Making A Payment

Madera Superior Court uses the Franchise Tax Board and GC Services as their collection agencies. If your matter has been referred to FTB or GC Services for collections, all payments should be made through the respective agency to ensure proper credit can be given to your account.

You may contact a Franchise Tax Board representative at (916) 845-4064.

You may contact the GC Services representative at (800) 333-8395 for service in English and (800) 616-6007 for service in Spanish.


The typical case follows these steps:

  1. A ticket or citation for a traffic infraction is written by a law enforcement officer.
  2. The ticket explains whether a (a) dollar fine or (b) other action is required, and whether the recipient must appear in court.
  3. The Court will send the Defendant a courtesy notice stating the various options available and the date that he/she is to appear in Court if the Defendant chooses to contest the matter.
  4. If the Defendant does not wish to contest the matter and pay the fine, they would submit payment as specified on their courtesy notice.
  5. If the Defendant does wish to contest the matter, they may request a Trial by Declaration, wherein the Defendant is allowed to contest the citation by a written statement.  Or, the Defendant can request a Court Trial in which the Defendant and Officer both appear in person before a judge to present their case.
  6. If the Defendant is eligible for traffic school (if you are, it will be one of the options available to you on your courtesy notice), it will be the amount of the fine plus $74.00 for the traffic school fee. The traffic school will charge you an additional fee to attend the class. The certificate of completion must be returned to the court within 90 days. Failure to do so will result in a Conviction being reported to DMV as opposed to Traffic School Completion.
  7. If the Defendant fails to pay a fine after the Court has ordered him/or her to do so, the case may be referred to the Franchise Tax Board for collections. If the matter is referred to collections and is accepted, a civil assessment fee of $300.00 will be added pursuant to PC 1214.1(a).





  1. All payments and proof of corrections on this case must be submitted together in order to close the case.
  2. Partial payments may be accepted upon request and will be assessed a $50.00 administrative fee.
  3. Forfeiting bail will close your case and it will be reported to DMV as a conviction. If you are forfeiting bail, please do not send cash. If you forfeit bail, you are no longer eligible for traffic school.


  1. If you have been convicted of any traffic violations in the past three years, a penalty enhancement may be imposed pursuant to VC4200 and VC40508.6.


To dismiss a violation where proof of correction is required you must:

  1. Correct the violation.
  2. Take the corrected item along with your copy of the citation to a law enforcement agency or DMV and have a copy of the citation signed off by an authorized agent of the department.
  3. Bring or mail your copy of the signed off citation along with the fees indicated on the front of this letter.


  1. Please make checks or money orders payable to: Madera County Superior Court.
  2. Mail to Madera County Superior Court at the division you received your courtesy notice from.


You may attend traffic school on this case if the following apply:

  1. If the offense did not occur within 18 months of a pervious violation for which you have attended traffic school.
  2. If the traffic violation does not carry more than one point under VC 12810 or one and one-half point under VC 12810.5(b)(2).
  3. Is not related to alcohol or drug use or possession.
  4. Is not a violation of VC 22406.5 (tank vehicles).
  5. You have a valid driver’s license.

If you meet the above guidelines for traffic school, you may send one check for the total bail amount plus $74.00 traffic violator school fee. (Pursuant to 42007(a) VC) The traffic school you attend will also charge an attendance fee. If you fail or choose not to attend traffic school by the completion date, all fees and bail will be forfeited, your case closed and reported to DMV as a conviction.

Once payment is received by the Court, you have 90 days to remit a traffic school completion certificate to the Court.

Traffic School fees are non-refundable.

NOTICE: If you are eligible for traffic school and decide not to attend traffic school, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.




This Court will accept online certificates from the courses approved and monitored by the California Traffic Safety Institute. When calling for information, be sure to have your case number, court name, and due date available.  You can check to see if the Court has received your Traffic School Completion Certificate by clicking on this link: http://courtcertservice.com/ 

Classroom Traffic Schools: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/olinq2/welcome.do

Home Study Traffic Schools: www.ctsi-courtnetwork.org

On-line programs are offered to the defendants as an option to traffic school. Please be advised that the home study programs require identity verification in order to complete the course. These programs are not regulated by the Department of Motor Vehicles and/or the Court. The Court recognizes these programs for use but assumes no liability for the schools' actions.

Effective 01/01/2007




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