When Are Driver’s NOT Eligible for Traffic Violator School (TVS) Programs in California?
A Superior Court judge has the discretion to order attendance at a TVS program as permitted under California Vehicle Code (CVC) sections 41501(a) or 42005, or for any other purpose permitted by law. A traffic defendant who is eligible for TVS will NOT forfeit eligibility by contesting a traffic citation and entering a plea of Not Guilty, or by exercising his or her Constitutional right to a Court Trial.
Generally speaking, you are not eligible to attend a traffic violator school or defensive driving program in California, if any of the following circumstances apply to you...
Commercial Operators (Class A & B license holders):
1. If you receive a traffic citation while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)
2. If your violation involves a non-moving offense such as Overweight, Overlength, Improper Cell Phone Use, or Non-Emergency Parking (CVC Section 22505(b) or 21461(a))
3. If you receive a citation for a Hazardous Material (Haz Mat) violation
4. If you receive a citation for Littering (CVC Section 23111, 23112(a) or 23112(b)), or for a serious traffic violation, such as a misdemeanor DUI or Reckless Driving
5. Any driver who would ordinarily be eligible for TVS, but who has completed a TVS program for a prior traffic citation issued within 18 months of their current or pending traffic citation
Non-commercial Operators (Class C license holders):
1. Exceeding 100 MPH (CVC Section 22348b)
2. All non-moving violations, such as Improper Cell Phone Use, or Non-Emergency parking (CVC Section 22505(b) or 21461(a))
3. Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the speed limit for the prevailing conditions (CVC Section 22350)
4. Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit of 65 MPH (CVC Section 22349a)
5. Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit of 55 MPH (CVC Section 22349b)
6. Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit of 70 MPH (CVC Section 22356b)
7. Speeding in a private vehicle at speeds ≥ 26 MPH above the posted speed limit for a Bridge, Tube or Tunnel (CVC Section 22405a)
8. If you receive a citation for Littering (CVC Section 23111, 23112(a) or 23112(b)), or for a serious traffic violation, such as a misdemeanor DUI or Reckless Driving
9. Any driver who would ordinarily be eligible for TVS, but who has completed a TVS program for a prior traffic citation issued within 18 months of their current or pending traffic citation
Note: As far as TVS ineligibility, Speeding in Excess of 26 MPH or greater above the posted speed limit, is the most common scenario that a non-commercial driver will find themselves in while traveling on the California highway system. The typical bail penalty for speeding ≥ 26 MPH above the speed limit, but not over 100 MPH, is approximately $470.00
By the way...once a person has been referred to a TVS program by a Superior Court judge, CVC §42005(e) states that "A person who willfully fails to comply with a court order to attend traffic violator school is guilty of a misdemeanor." (emphasis added) Essentially, you would be considered in contempt of court - a misdemeanor violation - for disobeying or not complying with a formal court order.
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