Requesting Your Case Be Heard at the “County Seat”

In traffic cases, an accused may seek to have a change of venue  to a different court within the county.  This request is known as a request to have the case heard in the county seat.  The notice to appear will require the traffic offender to appear in the court that is nearest or most accessible to the place where the arrest was made. See Vehicle  Code §40502(a). The traffic offender may request a change of venue to the court at the county seat of the county in which the offense was committed if the defendant’s residence or principal place of employment is located closer to the county seat than to the court that is nearest or most accessible to the place where the arrest was made. See Vehicle  Code §40502(b).  In Kern County, any branch court qualifies as a “county seat” court. The request must be made at the arraignment. See Pen C §1462.2.  Most courts only allow the request to be made for infractions, however, some attorneys have had success for DUI offenses as well.

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