Form TR-205 Request for Trial by Written Declaration - California
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What Is Form TR-205?
Form TR-205, Request for Trial by Written Declaration, is a legal document to request a defendant to challenge traffic infraction citations, or a violation of a local ordinance adopted under the Vehicle Code, in writing, without having to appear in person at court. You can request this "trial by written declaration" unless you were issued a ticket for an offense involving alcohol or drugs or the violation requires a mandatory appearance in court. Additional eligibility requirements include:
- You were issued a ticket for infraction violations only;
- the due date to take care of your ticket has not passed;
- Your ticket or courtesy notice does not say that you must appear in court.
By submitting a TR-205 Form, you are waiving and giving up the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself, and the right to a public and speedy trial.
How to Get Form TR-205?
Form TR-205 was released by the California Judicial Council. The latest version of the form was issued on January 1, 1999. A fillable Form TR-205 is available below.
How to Fill Out Form TR-205?
Follow these steps to complete Form TR-205:
- Enter the name, mailing address, city, and zip code of the applicable court. This court information can be found at the bottom of your citation. If there are multiple addresses, look for the addresses corresponding with the checked box.
- Below the court information, enter your name next to "Defendant."
- Enter your citation number in the applicable box. The citation number is located in the upper right-hand corner of your citation. If you know your case number, you can enter this in the applicable box also.
- Do not enter any other information on the first page, this is for the court to complete.
- At the top of the second page, enter again your name and case number, if you know your case number.
- Enter your name and mailing address in the applicable spaces in "Declaration of Facts."
- Explain the reasons for which you believe the ticket should be dismissed in "Statement of Facts." The explanation should be clearly written with factual, technical, or legal arguments to justify the dismissal of the ticket. It is also important for the defendant to address the issue based on the method of enforcement (officer issued or red-light camera for example).
- Enter your name and sign your name at the bottom in the provided space. Complete a check or money order, not cash, in the amount of the bail payment. This amount is shown on your courtesy notice or provided by the clerk.
- Mail by the due date your completed Form TR-205 along with your bail payment to the court address on the citation. You will get the court's decision by mail telling you whether you were found guilty or not guilty. If you are not satisfied with the court's decision, you can ask for a new trial (called a "trial de novo") in court.
Download Form TR-205 Request for Trial by Written Declaration - California