Pleading Not Guilty
You may request a court trial.
Court Appearance: Check in for court appearance to request a court trial date*. Bail is not required to appear in court.
You may make an appointment for a courtroom appearance in the East County, South County Courthouse, or Vista Traffic Court by calling the division in which your citation directed you to appear. Click here for court times and scheduling.
Mail: Submit a request indicating that you intend to plead not guilty and are requesting an arraignment and court trial on the same date. (See SDSC Form #MO-012) and include the total bail amount**. (VC § 40519)
Business Office*: Indicate to counter clerk that you are requesting an arraignment and court trial on the same date and pay the total bail amount.** (VC § 40519)
TRIAL BY WRITTEN DECLARATION (VC § 40902)
Vehicle Code section 40902 allows a defendant to contest a citation in writing, without the need to make a personal appearance in the courtroom. This type of trial is available for cases involving infraction violations of the Vehicle Code, with the exception of Vehicle Code offenses involving alcohol and drugs, or of any local ordinance adopted under the Vehicle Code. This is called a trial by written declaration. Full bail** is required for this option.To request a Trial by Written Declaration:
- Read the Trial by Written Declaration Information and Instructions to Defendant (SDSC Form #MO-051)
- Submit the completed Request for Trial by Written Declaration (JC Form #TR-205) and full bail to the court.
Note that credit/debit card payments cannot be accepted for this option. If you are found not guilty, your money will be refunded. If you are found guilty, the bail may be applied towards any fine imposed.
After the clerk receives the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (JC Form #TR-205) and payment of full bail**, the officer who issued you the citation will be notified and given an opportunity to submit a declaration regarding the citation by a specified due date. Your declaration and supporting information, along with the officer’s information, will be submitted to the judicial officer for consideration. You will be notified by mail of the court’s decision.
*multiple appearances may be required under this option.
**Credit/debit card payments cannot be accepted for this option. If you are found not guilty, your bail will be refunded; if you are found guilty, your bail may be applied towards any fine imposed by the court.