What is the statute of limitations for a speeding ticket in California?

The statute of limitations for initiation of a misdemeanor prosecution in California is one year from the date of an offense; Courts have generally recognized that once an indictment instrument is on file, the prosecution has one year after that to try the charge; if trial has not commenced there is a presumption of a speedy trial violation. The details of how a trial is requested do n ot really matter because a misdemeanor can be tried in absentia. People V. Serna is the authority for the one year rule. As such, a vehicle code violation would have the same statute of limitations a as a misdemeanor, if that, and the time to try would be one year from acknowledgement of the citation, regardless of whether the defendant appears in Court or not as trial in absentia is available; and even if it wasn't speedy trial provisions that apply for even for federal felony cases where the defendant hides out-if the marshall doesn't make attempts to find him, the clock is running-certainly apply here to infractions. Clearly, the state law speedy trial gurantees that presume prejudice in a misdemeanor prosecution after a year apply to infractions. Thus, you must move to dismiss on the basis of People v. Serna; after which you have won and there can be no fine, court cost, or civil assesment absent a proof of guilt; additionally, any administrative suspension from DMV by mandatory actions must be lifted and counts as a penalty you have already suffered, therefore raise a double jeaopardy defense against any civil assesments for violation of the prohibition on dual punishments. You will pay no fine and suffer no insurance premium increase if you simply fail to appear for one year on traffic tickets, don't drive or get stopped, and then move for dismissal; nowadays in California they do not issue a warrant, only a civil assesment, so this is a reasonable choice. The civil assesment may require a conviction; or due process proof of failure to appear-meaning a trial on the FTA to support the assesment-if so that will be a year limitation as well, absent trials in absentia-which simply aren't going to occur in the bigger cities. " I fought the law- and I won" Author has accumulated over 100 speeding tickets in NY and CA from his teenage years onward; beat them all.

Actually, the case is Serna v. Superior Court; People v. Serna authorizes admistrative mandamus, which is the procedure you would use to challenge the DMV.


"In a criminal matter, the Defendant has the right to a speedy, public trial (U.S. Constitution, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments; California Constitution, Article I, section 15), and in a misdemeanor prosecution that right attaches when a criminal complaint is filed. (Scherling v. Superior Court (1978) 22 Cal.3d 493; Rost v. Municipal Court (1960) 184 Cal.App.2d 507.)

Further, a delay between the filing of a misdemeanor complaint and the arrest and prosecution of the Defendant, which exceeds the length of the statute of limitations, is unreasonable and presumptively prejudicial. (Serna v. Superior Court (1985) 40 Cal.3d 239; Harris v. Municipal Court (1930) 209 Cal. 55.)"