A Failure to Appear (FTA) Can Ruin Your Credit
You probably didn’t realize it, but an FTA in CA can keep you from getting a new car or that new home you and your significant other have been planning to buy. Additionally, CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 40508 (a) states that a person who “willfully” fails to appear in court “is guilty of a misdemeanor” regardless of how the original offense is discharged or disposed, even when you are found not guilty of the original ticket, you now may have a misdemeanor on your record.
Your signature on the traffic ticket is your promise to the State of California that you will appear on or before the date indicated to discharge your ticket or make further arrangements with a representative of the state, as in the court clerk. In Section (b), it adds that if you made arrangements with the court for installment payments that you failed to make, you are also guilty of a misdemeanor because you failed to meet a court order.
As of 1 May 2017, the court must send you a courtesy notice about your traffic ticket with details about where and when you can pay, how to make installments, whether traffic school is authorized, and the address and telephone number for the court clerk. However, non-receipt of the notice does not relieve you of your obligation to appear in court or settle your ticket before the court date.
Section (d) authorizes the court to impound, restrict, or suspend an individual’s driver’s license (DL) for up to 30 days.
Kern County, CA FTA Options
A legal defense of the FTA, which must be documented, could be:
· You were in the military out-of-state
· You were in the hospital
· You were in prison or deported
Summary of Court Actions Available for FTA
If you fail to appear or make other arrangements for your traffic ticket, the court may:
· Place a hold on or restrict your DL
· Add a misdemeanor charge under CVC 40508
· Issue a bench warrant
· The DMV may suspend your DL
· Add a civil assessment of $300 under Penal Code 1214.1
· Give your case to a collection agency
Summary of Your Available Actions
· Pay your fine before the court date
· Make arrangements for payments, you must pay 10 percent of the fine
· Pay the bail and fight your ticket
· Hire a traffic ticket attorney to clear your FTA and ticket
Bigger & Harman, APC
Don’t risk your credit, increased fines and suspensions, Bigger & Harman can represent you in a Kern County Court. Do not pay a collection agency before speaking with an attorney, as they may be able to get your fine reduced or dismissed. Just because the traffic ticket states traffic court attendance is mandatory, you can hire a traffic ticket lawyer to represent you while you go to work.
When you require assistance because of an FTA or another traffic ticket in Kern, Tulare, Kings, Inyo, Mono and other Central Valley CA counties or in SoCal counties such as LA, Riverside, or San Bernardino, call the law firm of Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, send an email, email@example.com, or fill out the convenient contact form on the website.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.