If you fail to take care of a traffic ticket before the deadline, the state
may suspend your license without even notifying you directly.
You are also in violation of
Vehicle Code Section 40508 if you make a payment arrangement and do not keep it, or make arrangements
to take a driving safety class and do not timely present proof of completion.
When an officer gives you a citation for an infraction, your signature
on the ticket is your legal promise to appear in court on or before a
certain date pay the fine, plead not guilty and set a trial date, make
arrangements to take a driving safety course, or otherwise take care of
Many times the drivers may mistakenly rely on a "courtesy notice"
to tell them when to appear in court, and the notice never comes. But
a Lamont or Mojave judge will not accept such an excuse, because the ticket
itself has the court information and appearance date in the fine print.
An FTA is always a misdemeanor, meaning that you can be arrested for an
FTA violation. There are three absolute defenses to an FTA charge:
A judge may consider other defenses as well; for example, a loved one may
have been ill and you were distracted by that illness. As stated above,
however, a judge generally does not accept excuses or attempts to blame
someone else for your failure to appear. A failure to appear normally
requires an in person appearance or a lawyer to appear for you. Oftentimes
the fines and assessments in combination with your ticket can be in the
thousands of dollars.