How long can a judge take to decide a traffic ticket?

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Question:

I went to court to fight my traffic ticket, thinking that I'd get a decision that day. Instead, the judge said he wanted to look at the scene of the incident. He didn't rule either way. What happens now?

Answer:

You'll probably get a decision soon. But the courts in your home state of California don't look too kindly on judges who keep people waiting over mere traffic tickets. So if the judge decides that you're guilty, and if you didn't give your consent to the judge's taking your case under advisement like this, you have a possible ground of appeal. This bit of law comes from a case called People v. Kriss (1979) 96 Cal.App.3d 913, 158 Cal.Rptr. 420. Of course, if you did consent to the judge's delay of the decision, then you'll have to look for some other basis for appeal.

You should check with the court every three weeks or so, just in case any notification mailed to you goes awry. That way you can stay within the 30-day period in which to file a notice of appeal.

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