Traffic Citations are not Criminal, says California Courts.

Date: Tue, Dec 25, 2012
Subject: Californian proves cops can’t write you a traffic ticket
for infractions.

This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. As someone
who has been studying the vehicle code and it’s legislative history
on and off for the past 12 years, I just can’t help but smile when
someone proves in open court that the vehicle enforcement apparatus
is nothing more than a massive racketeering operation. OK, maybe
he didn’t prove that, but Dan Giguere of Los Angeles did prove that
the police can’t write a ticket for an infraction.

Dan received a traffic citation a little over a year ago for unsafe
speed in violation of California Vehicle Code section 22350. Dan
went to court and made a special appearance to obtain information as
to who the plaintiff in the case was so that he can file a motion
and properly serve the opposing party. Since the citation doesn’t
indicate who that party is, it was fair to ask the court. Instead
of answering Dan’s question the judge entered a plea of not guilty
with Dan’s objection. Dan was able to quote a California court case
known as People v. Sava which ruled “The limitation of an accused
right to a jury trial has withstood constitutional attack upon the
rationale that the legislature had never intended infractions to
be criminal. The Judge agreed and admitted that the case is not
criminal, which is correct. The judge set the case for trial and
ignored the obvious implications of such a fact.

Dan consulted the Vehicle code and the powers of arrest by a peace
officer and it turns out that peace officers only have the authority
to make an arrest without a warrant if they have probable cause to
believe a public offense has been committed in their presence.  A
public offense according to 683 of the Penal code is a type of
offense that warrants a criminal prosecution. But since infractions
are not crimes, then it can’t be a public offense. Some of you may
think “wait a minute, I’m not arrested when I’m given a ticket.”  Oh
yes you are. According to 40500 of the Vehicle code a traffic stop
and issuance of a notice to appear constitutes an arrest, besides
what happens if you refuse to sign the ticket? They will threaten to take you
off to jail, and sometimes will.

Dan filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
and a motion to suppress the notice to appear arguing that the
officer lacked any probable cause to believe a crime has been
committed in his presence and therefore no crime has been alleged.  He
filed with the court just a few days before his trial. The judge
agreed with the motion and suppressed the citation and dismissed
Dan’s case.

The significance of this is huge because what you have are peace
officers (city employees) conducting traffic arrests for non-criminal activity,
triggering debt collection actions on behalf of non-complaining
parties by way of a voidable notice to appear.

The next time I get pulled over for an infraction I’m simply going
to ask the officer “What is your probable cause to believe a crime
has been committed?” If he starts to name anything other than an
actual crime than I’m going to tell the officer that infractions are
not crimes according the California Supreme court and that I don’t
consent to the stop”.  Once I say I don’t consent and the officer
doesn’t release me, they can be charged for  “False Arrest” and that is a crime.

Remember if it is a law principal in the “state” of California it s a law principal in all jurisdiction in which a US court operates.
Good job Dan.
I  wander if one can go back on old charges and do the same, probable cause is jurisdiction in the first instance, so the arraignment would be a nullity and all after also.
[11:38:09 AM] WTP, williamfrancis1: See if there is a statute of limitations on barratry.
[11:39:45 AM] I am quite sure there is no statute of limitation on subject matter jurisdiction in the first instance, no jurisdiction in the first instance means to time starts ticking that is associated with a statute of limitations.


I personally believe a non-statutory territorial jurisdiction challenge by “Plea In Abatement” should always be your first challenge.  Paul John Hansn

P.S.  I used one in Nebraska with no registration, suspended license, no liability coverage, and one failure to appear, and the court has now, for 60 days,  sat on an “under advisement” statues, so it is obvious the court is in a quandary of what to do.  Paul John Hansen 12-29-2012

Original intent of the Legislature is a powerful defense.

Click HERE to view the list of foundational information created by Lawyer Paul John Hansen to aid in independence from the US System.

  1. theresa williams says:

    Thank you for this information. I have made it a point to file personnel complaints against officers whenever I’m pulled over. Officers know the law and if they don’t, many of these cops do not care until they are informed that a complaint was generated against them. I am learning to file a lawsuit against these officers in their individual capacity as well because of the bull shit hell that I go through. The police are no longer Civil Servants as they are agents of the City and each carry their own bond. The Sheriff’s department run by the “under sheriff” are contracted by the County and they are bonded and not considered Civil Servants. Regardless, the City and County Charter requires that all agents, employees are to uphold and defend the Constitution. It takes a lot out of you when you are dragged into court when there is no one that you injured or that you caused damage to. If we do nothing, they control our movements physically and mentally.

  2. frontncenter says:

    If a ticket constitutes an arrest then couldn’t receiving one be consider a false arrest if there was no crime committed.

  3. Yo Vinnie says:

    I tried to look up Pen 683 on the arresting powers of a Peace Officer as described in this article. Its not there. Sections 834, 836, and 841 actually address arrests.*41 actually states that arrests MAY be made for infractions. So I am not trying this tactic

    However it has been decided in People v Battle that traffic or any other infraction are indeed, civil and not criminal.
    Hansen > I will look into it when I get time, it does sound interesting. A common law arrest is simple, just do it, if you thing you can convince 7 out of 12 that it was justified.

    • Hope says:

      The post does not state PC 683 regards arresting powers of a peace officer; it defines a criminal action as a public offense. PC 841 doesn’t mention infractions. YV is correct not to “try” anything one is not confident they can defend.

  4. Brian says:

    Be careful of the advice you give. Most states have an ‘implied consent’ law, that states that if you operate a motor vehicle on any public road or thoroughfare, YOU WILL surrender your drivers license UPON request of a recognized police officer. This is part of the price you pay to drive on public roads. Obviously, if you are a pedestrian, I know of no law that you are required to identify yourself or produce documents. That is unless you are suspected of a crime, then you can expect to go for a ride regardless. >> Hansen response – That is likely true if you are on ‘state’ of UNITED STATES owned land.

  5. S Dayton says:

    Not sure who “Dan” is but with a lot of pertinent details missing I would be hard pressed to take as fact that “Dan’s case” was dismissed as he claims.

    The main point of “Dan” is he quoted People vs. Silva and had his case dismissed. Exactly how did this come about exactly? For one People vs, Silva has nothing to do with “The limitation of an accused right to a jury trial has withstood constitutional attack upon the
    rationale that the legislature had never intended infractions to be criminal.” Nor is that a “quote” from People vs, Silva at all. I doubt the Judge dismissed a traffic case using People vs. Silva since the Defendants conviction was for DUI was AFFIRMED.

    “Dan” seems to be attempting to combine the case law in People vs. Silva along with other case law cited in People vs. Silva to provide him with a “case law” with his OWN conclusions, not one that is an actual Court Opinion. (As People vs. Battle was used as a reason why the lack of jury instructions on the speeding charge was not a violation of the Geiger rule and why the Kellett rule was not applicable either.) So People vs. Silva had nothing to do with anything “Dan” could have quoted to the judge to get him to dismiss a traffic ticket.

    Even if he was trying to quote People vs. Battle he has no legal standing as CA law plainly allows the actions described. People are severely expanding the decision of People vs. Battle into unrelated areas. They are trying to use People vs. Brown as a way to invalidate Police authority to stop, ID and issue a citation for a traffic infraction during a traffic stop. People vs. Battle does no such thing and people need to stop trying to use it as such and advising that people use or quote it during a traffic stop. All they are doing is advising to have people make a civil traffic ticket and turn it into an actual criminal offense.

    Last piece of advise is to NOT listen to “Dan” who provides no actual proof anything he claims is true and appears to have no actual understanding of the case law he “quotes”. Taking anonymous peoples purposely vague “win” in court that “quote” case law that ISN’T a “quote” of that case law at all and/or it’s even applicable is a sure way to end up with additional charges.
    >> Hansen’s Reply – I have little time to review many of these cases, I feel that it is good to consider this above article to come to a deeper understanding of exactly what occurred in the case. There is no silver bullet and if you did have it the US court administrators would be hell-bent on making sure it is not revealed any more than necessary.

  6. Bryant says:

    CA holds the title to our vehicle, I’m driving a state vehicle, Having an S.S.N. means I’m a Federal employee, So does that mean I don’t have to have a license to state vehicle as long as I’m an employee of the United States?

    12501. The following persons are not required to obtain a driver’s license:
    (a) An officer or employee of the United States, while operating a motor vehicle owned or controlled by the United States on the business of the United States, except when the motor vehicle being operated is a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210.

    >>>>Comment by Hansen >Bryant, this is a great find, CA is the best state to put the truth into their statutes, though they are not clear to the average researcher. I posted a brief on this on my site. SEE>