BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2487
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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 2487 (Wagner)
          As Amended  April 22, 2014
          Majority vote 

           PUBLIC SAFETY       4-1                                         
           
           -------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Melendez, Jones-Sawyer,   |
          |     |Quirk, Waldron            |
          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Stone                     |
          |     |                          |
           -------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :  Deletes the requirement that a defendant that is  
          dissatisfied with the decision of the court, after having  
          elected to have a trial by declaration for an alleged traffic  
          infraction, shall have the right to a trial de novo.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Requires that the court shall, by rule, provide that the  
            defendant may elect to have a trial by written declaration  
            upon any alleged infraction, as charged by the citing officer,  
            involving a violation of the Vehicle Code, or any local  
            ordinance, as specified.

          2)Authorizes the Judicial Council to adopt rules and forms  
            governing trials by declaration.  Any rule or form adopted by  
            the Judicial Council shall supersede any local rule of court  
            adopted pursuant to these provisions.

          3)Provides that if the defendant elects to have a trial by  
            written declaration, the defendant shall at the time of  
            submitting the declaration, submit bail in the amount  
            scheduled in the uniform traffic penalty schedule, as  
            specified.  If the defendant is found not guilty or if the  
            charges 
          are otherwise dismissed, the amount of the bail shall be  
            promptly refunded to the defendant.

          4)Notwithstanding the rule of evidence, the rules governing  
            trials by written declaration may provide for testimony and  








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            other relevant evidence to be introduced in the form of a  
            notice to appear, a business record or receipt, a sworn  
            declaration of the arresting officer, or a written statement,  
            or letter signed by the defendant.

          5)Provides that if the defendant is dissatisfied with the  
            decision of the court in a trial by declaration shall be  
            granted a trial de novo.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "Under existing law  
          defendant charged with a Vehicle Code infraction may elect to  
          have a trial by written declaration on the alleged infraction,  
          with the exception of drug and alcohol infraction (Vehicle Code  
          Section 40310).  If the defendant is dissatisfied with a  
          decision of the court in that proceeding the defendant is  
          entitled to a "trial de novo" or trial before a Traffic Court  
          which results in a waste of court resources. In some counties, a  
          trial de novo is requested in 40 to 50 percent of cases where  
          the defendant has not prevailed on the written declaration.  
          Rather than providing a convenient way for a traffic violator  
          who lives an impractical or inconvenient distance from the court  
          to contest matters, the process is being used to give a second  
          bite at the apple to win a case.  AB 2487 increases the  
          efficiency of courts by providing that when a defendant accused  
          of a Vehicle Code infraction opts for a trial by written  
          declaration, that defendant cannot also request a new trial in  
          Traffic Court."  

           Please see the policy committee analysis for a full discussion  
          of this bill.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744 


                                                                FN: 0003233












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