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Question: Why don't cops tell me how much my ticket will cost?
Answer: It's police department policy not to give the bail amount, according to CHP spokeswoman Sarah Jackson and sheriff's spokeswoman April Skalland.
Prices may vary based on how many other tickets you have or if there are added fees, which are commonly tacked on by the courts, such as a DNA fund or sex registration fee.
The laws change frequently.
For cell phones, for example, the first offense was $25 originally, but with added fees it jumped to $100, said Skalland.
"If I say it's probably $30 but when they get the ticket it's $100," she said, explaining that they are going to be angry.
Jackson says she understands the frustration people feel, but trying to remember every code is impossible.
"There are over 40,000 sections in the California Vehicle Code. I feel quite accomplished to have been able to remember many of them (not all!) along with their elements, recognize violations of each, and testify on them competently in court.
"For each of those sections, the fines vary from one county to another, and every one of them is updated at the beginning of each year. To be able to reliably remember ever-changing information of that kind of volume would be super-human.
"I honestly do not know how much any given fine may be. I am quite happy to leave that to the judge to remember and decide what is appropriate."