You are on the road moving at a typical speed when suddenly, you notice a stop sign in your rearview mirror. You did not stop, so now you see red and blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror. This is bad news, but the stop sign was evidently not visible when you approached it.
Still, the officer pulls you over, and now you have been served a traffic ticket under CA Vehicle Code 22450. This vehicle code is meant to penalize drivers who do not obey stop signs that are on the road. Yet, in your eyes, the offense was unavoidable. So what can you do?
What Is CA Vehicle Code 22450?
California drivers must understand the laws they are required to obey while on the roads. CA Vehicle Code 22450 is one such law. Under this rule, it is mandated that drivers stop at stop signs when they encounter one on the road. If they do not, there is a chance they will face significant penalties for failing to adhere to the law.
If you were recently charged for violating this vehicle code, hire a defense attorney to represent you in your case. Through effective litigation, you may be able to avoid the fines related to such charges.
More About CA Vehicle Code 22450
Some people are charged with violating CA Vehicle Code 22450 simply for not coming to a full stop when they approach stop signs. This is because the vehicle code does not allow for drivers to commit rolling stops instead of full stops. In order to be compliant with the vehicle code, drivers must stop fully before entering the limit line located in the intersection.
If there is a crosswalk present, they should not pass into the crosswalk either. Doing so will result in penalties if an officer sees the incident.
Another important factor to consider arises when you approach a railroad crossing. As you get closer to the railroad grade, you are required to stop on the line before you cross. Even if there are no limit lines or stop signs present, a special stop is required before entering the railroad grade.
Where Can Stop Signs Be Placed?
Under CA Vehicle Code 22450, local governmental bodies are free to put stop signs anywhere they want. Though, the stop signs they place must be positioned in a way that enhances traffic safety within their specific jurisdiction. For this reason, stop signs placed outside of someone’s jurisdiction can be ruled invalid.
CA Vehicle Code 22450 Violations
When someone is pulled over for violating CA Vehicle Code 22450, they will likely be issued a traffic ticket. These tickets warrant a fine and may also cause the driver to incur additional costs such as court fees and assessment expenses. Upon getting a ticket, you have several options to proceed with.
These options include:
- Paying the traffic ticket and any fees associated with it
- Disputing the ticket in court
- Enroll in a traffic safety course that occurs once every 18 months
If you attend the traffic safety school, you avoid getting any points on your driving record. Yet, if you instead decide to accept the charges by paying the fine, you will receive a point on your driving record promptly. This frequently compels drivers who have been stopped for a Vehicle Code 22450 violation to choose one of the latter two options instead.
Do Not Ignore Your Ticket
You have the option to ignore your traffic ticket, but doing so is not advised. If you do not acknowledge the violation and take action, you risk facing additional penalties and fines. For example, someone who does not schedule and attend a court hearing following the administration of the ticket can be hit with a Vehicle Code 40508 charge.
While VC 22450 violations are only infractions, VC 40508 charges are a misdemeanor. Therefore, the additional charges will be more impactful than the original charges you faced.
If you do get charged for violating VC40508, you may be fined an amount of up to $1,000 and potentially face a jail sentence. The state can even suspend or withhold your driving privileges until you go to court or pay the fines you have been presented with. That is why it is always a better idea to hire a lawyer to help you fight the ticket promptly.
How to Defend Yourself Against VC 22450 Charges
Everyone has the option to fight to stop sign violation charges. By hiring a criminal defense lawyer, you make success in this effort far more attainable. Your lawyer should be well-versed in California’s road rules and traffic laws, and ideally, they should also understand which defenses are most effective for your case.
Another benefit of hiring a lawyer is that you are not required to attend the court hearing because they will be there on your behalf. Here are some defenses that are often relevant in stop sign violation cases.
It Is a New Stop Sign
Sometimes people drive based on habits. If a stop sign has recently been placed in a location, judges may understand that you did not remember a sign being there so you did not notice it on this trip. While this may not result in the charges being fully dropped, it often ends with drivers having their fines reduced significantly.
The Signs or Road Lines Were Not Visible
You should not be expected to react to a sign that is not fully visible. Therefore, lawyers often argue that charges associated with ignoring signs that were not clearly visible should be dropped. For example, if you are driving on a highway and do not notice a stop sign because it is covered by vegetation, your lawyer can build a defense citing that reality.
They may go to the location and take pictures of the obstructed stop sign to provide evidence that you were unlikely to notice it. The same could apply to limit lines and crosswalks that were not visible due to fading paint or other elements.
Fight Stop Sign Charges
You should always stop when you approach a stop sign, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances. If you feel like the Vehicle Code 22450 charges you are facing are unwarranted, you need to fight them.
A criminal defense attorney can help you get started. Use the contact form on this page to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney.