Illegal Turn Tickets in California
In California, there are some turning maneuvers that are considered improper or illegal. Most illegal turns are considered improper not because the actual turning maneuver is illegal, but instead because the circumstances of the turn make it improper at that time. For instance, if you are convicted of making an illegal U-turn, it is because you made a U-turn at an intersection or area in which no U-turns are allowed.
Some ways you could commit an improper turn include:
- Making an illegal U-turn
- Turning right on a red light when it is prohibited
- Not coming to a complete stop before making a right turn at a red light
- Making a left turn when it is prohibited
If you are cited for making an illegal turn, you need to speak to an experienced illegal turn ticket attorney immediately so you can fight the ticket.
Illegal U-Turn Tickets in California
There are several laws that spell out when you can legally make a U-turn in California. Separate U-turn laws specifically deal with making U-turns in a business district, residential area, and whether you have an unobstructed view while making the U-turn.
If you are cited for violating any of these illegal U-turn laws, you will be fined and one point will be added to your driving record. Typically, the total fine will be $234, but fines for making an illegal U-turn range from around $200 to $400 including all fees and penalty assessments.
Making a U-Turn at a Controlled Intersection (VC 22100.5)
The most common way of making an illegal U-turn is by making a U-turn at a controlled intersection where it is prohibited. Under California Vehicle Code Sections 22100.5 and 21451, you can make a U-turn at a controlled intersection unless there is a sign indicating that U-turns are prohibited. You must make a U-turn from the far left-hand lane when U-turns are allowed.
Making a U-Turn in a Business District (VC 22102)
Under California Vehicle Code Section 22102, you are allowed to make a U-turn in a business district as long as the U-turn is made at an intersection or clearly marked opening on the street. According to VC 235, a business district is a stretch of road in which 50% of the properties within 300 feet are used for business, or 600 feet if the businesses are only on one side of the street.
If you are cited for making an illegal U-turn in a business district, your attorney may be able to argue that the area in which you made the U-turn actually does not meet the qualifications necessary to be considered a business district.
Making a U-Turn in a Residence District (VC 22103)
According to California Vehicle Code Section 22103, it is illegal to make a U-turn in a residential district when another vehicle is approaching from either direction within 200 feet except at an intersection controlled by a traffic control device.
If you are cited for violating VC 22103, your traffic ticket attorney may be able to show that there were no other vehicles on the road within 200 feet, or that you actually made your U-turn at an intersection controlled by a light or stop sign.
Unobstructed View Necessary for U-Turn (VC 22105)
All U-turns are prohibited on a highway under California Vehicle Code Section 22105 if you cannot see with an unobstructed view for 200 feet in both directions. This means that you can’t make a U-turn if another vehicle or other object is blocking your view of oncoming traffic.
In these cases, it is up to the citing officer to prove that your view was obstructed. Your attorney may be able to show evidence that your view was unobstructed when you made the U-turn.
Improper Turn at a Red Light Ticket (VC 21453(b))
Under California Vehicle Code Section 21453(b), you must come to a full and complete stop and yield to all pedestrians and traffic when you are attempting to turn right at a red light. You must come to a full stop before entering a crosswalk.
You could also be guilty of violating VC 21453(b) if you make a right turn on a red light at an intersection in which a sign is posted prohibiting this act.
If you are guilty of this driving violation, your ticket will include a base fine of $35. However, with additional fees and penalty assessments, your total fines will reach $235 or more. In addition, one point will be added to your driving record. Your insurance premiums may also increase.
Improper Left Turn (VC 22101)
It is illegal to make a left-hand turn when signs posted at an intersection prohibit such a turn, according to California Vehicle Code Section 22101. You could also be guilty of violating this law if you disobey traffic lights and make a left turn when the light is red.
Making an illegal left turn is punishable by a total fine of at least $234 and one point added to your driving record.
How to Fight Illegal Turn Tickets in California
If you receive a ticket for making an improper turn or illegal U-turn, you need to speak to an experienced traffic ticket attorney immediately so that you can fight your ticket. Our skilled attorneys may be able to use the following defenses in your case:
- The citing officer’s view of the events was not accurate – In many cases, violations for making improper turns are subjective. Your attorney may be able to challenge the officer’s view of the events. We may be able to argue that you did not have an obstructed view while making your turning maneuver, or that you were in fact making a safe turn. In order to use this defense, you may have to draw a diagram of the scene.
- Signs were not clearly marked – If you are cited for making a turn that was prohibited by signs, your attorney could argue that these signs were not clearly visible.
- You were not actually making a U-turn – If you are cited for making an illegal U-turn, your skilled attorney could argue that you were not actually making a U-turn. If you pull into a driveway or parking lot and back out to go the opposite direction, this is not a U-turn and you cannot be convicted of making an illegal U-turn.
1. Is it legal to make a U-turn across double yellow lines?
Yes, in most cases it is legal to make a U-turn across double yellow lines as long as you have an unobstructed view for 200 feet in both directions. However, you cannot make a U-turn when the double yellow lines are two or more feet across. 1
2. Can I still be cited for a turning violation if signs prohibiting the turn were not clearly marked?
Yes, you could still be cited for a turning violation if there are signs at the intersection prohibiting your turn. However, your traffic ticket attorney may be able to argue that the signs were not clearly visible and have your ticket rescinded.
3. Can I be ticketed for making an illegal U-turn if I actually made a three-point turn?
No, if you did not perform a U-turn, you did not violate California U-turn laws. If you pulled into a driveway or parking lot and reversed directions, you did not commit a U-turn.
4. Will I receive points on my driving record for making an improper turn?
Yes, if you are guilty of making an improper turn or illegal U-turn, one point will be added to your driving record.
Call the Traffic Ticket Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are cited for making an improper turn, you need to speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and
knowledgeable attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully helping our clients fight traffic tickets. Let us help you now.
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Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5425 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.