I live in California and got a red light camera ticket last October. I did a trial by written declaration and lost. I then set up a trial de novo, extended it out as long as possible, and eventually decided not to show up for my court date because the court is 200 miles away and I had no real argument as to how I was not guilty.
I got a letter in the mail today that says the defendant (me) did not show up and the prosecution did show up. Despite that the decision rendered was case dismissed in the interest of justice.
Does this decision essentially mean I will not be charged with this violation and my insurance rates won’t go up? I wasn’t eligible for traffic school because I had a speeding ticket about a year prior to this incident. Furthermore, how could the case be dismissed if I didn’t even show up? Finally, since the case is dismissed am I entitled to a refund of the cost of the ticket?
Although you did not appear at the trial, the prosecution still needs to prove their case to the judge. Their can been any number of reasons why the prosecution chose to dismiss your case. It may have simply been that they were have issues with that particular red light camera and that they are dismissing all of those cases. However, since you were not at the hearing, you will never know why the case was dismissed. Long story short, you were not convicted of the offense and it should not show up on your DMV printout. Therefore, your insurance rates should not go up. If you paid bail on the citation so that you could fight the case, typically, the court will send you a check in that amount. In a few weeks, I suggest that you go to the DMV to verify that there is no conviction on your record. Take the letter that you got in the mail with you in case you need it to update your records.