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Forgetting to Pay a Ticket: Cha-Ching!

Forgetting to pay a ticket in Kern County and the rest of California has serious consequences. The court may issue a warrant, charge you with a new crime, and add additional fees on top of your original ticket's bail amount. The court may also suspend your driver license until the ticket issue is resolved when you fail to appear in court or resolve the ticket prior to the court date. As of 1 July 2017, your license will no longer be suspended for unpaid traffic tickets. However, that is not retroactive, so if you have already lost your license due to unpaid tickets and assessments, call Bigger & Harman for a free phone consultation and get back on the road.

Failure to Appear (FTA)

Although your license can no longer be suspended for forgetting to pay a ticket, an FTA can still lead to suspension. An “FTA” is short for Failure to Appear. This is the violation issued when you fail to show for the court date on the ticket or failing to pay the fine due before the court date, which is an FTA. Forgetting to pay a ticket is not the excuse you can use without receiving a heavy penalty along with the actual fine.

How Much Will It Cost Me?

CA Penal Code 1214.1 states that a $300 Civil Assessment may be added to the original fine when you FTA or pay the fine before the court date. This civil assessment is in addition to any other fine, penalty, assessment, or bail amount for an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony charge. The good news is that any unserved bench warrant will be voided once the civil assessment is added. But, the main reason most people FTA is that they know they cannot afford the fine or to hire an attorney and their credit is already in such a mess, what’s a $300 civil assessment? To the wealthy, it’s just a drop in the bucket, to the poor it’s inconsequential, the ones that suffer are the middle-class who pay their debts and take care of their responsibilities.

How to Pay a Ticket in Kern County, California

You can pay your ticket online at the Kern County Superior Court website. There is a one-time extension you can request on the site, to keep you from forgetting to pay a ticket that is due. If you are eligible for the extension, there is a box at the bottom of the payment page.

Now that you know the penalties attached to forgetting to pay a ticket you received while in Kern County, it should be your number one priority to ensure the due date for the ticket is circled on your calendar so you do not miss it. As stated previously, it will prove to be a costly date to let pass by without either filing for the extension, if unable to pay, or paying it off in full. However, never just pay a fine without consulting a traffic ticket attorney, they are up to date on all new laws and amendments so they may be able to save you from overpaying and they can almost always get your fine reduced.

Hire a Local Kern County Lawyer

Call Bigger & Harman when you receive a ticket in Central Valley, including Kern, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Mono, and others. Bigger & Harman has an excellent reputation with traffic court judges in Delano, Visalia, Bishop, Lamont, LA, Hanford, Santa Clarita, and others.

Call Bigger & Harman today, 661-349-9300. Or, send an email: attorney@markbigger.com. For confidential and convenient appointment set up, use their website contact form.

You can even contact them on their Facebook Page.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.