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I Received a FTA Notice: What Now?

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I Received a FTA Notice: What Now?

When you receive a traffic citation in California, and you sign your ticket, you are agreeing you will appear in court or plead guilty and pay the ticket. If you do not pay the ticket, make other arrangements with the court, or show up at your court date, you are violating your agreement and a “failure to appear” or FTA will be added to your record for the citation. If you have received an FTA notice for a California traffic citation, you want to act fast to get the problem resolved.

What Happens After an FTA?

According to CVC40508 (A) in the California vehicle code, a person who willingly does not keep their promise to appear in court is guilty of a misdemeanor, regardless of the original charge. In some cases, the FTA is much worse than the traffic ticket. If you receive an FTA, the California Courts state the following penalties can occur:

  • You can be found guilty in absentia
  • Your ticket can be sent to collections
  • A bench warrant for your arrest can be issued
  • Your license can be suspended
  • A civil assessment fine of up to $300 can be added to your base fine

As soon as you do not show up in court, these possible penalties can be set in motion. If you have received an FTA notice, your license may have already been suspended. It is important to carefully read your notice and act quickly to reduce any more legal issues.

Handling Your FTA Notice

There are several steps that must be done to stop the progression of your FTA charge. First, you need to contact the court where you were scheduled to appear. If you are handling this yourself, you will most likely need to go to the court building and discuss your charge with a court clerk. You may need to pay bail if a warrant has been issued and get an arraignment date. You also may need to get an abstract to have the hold against your driver’s license removed. After that, you will need to show up at your arraignment, explain why you missed your court date and decide whether to plead guilty or plead not guilty and ask for a court trial.

Hire a Traffic Attorney for Your FTA Case

Once you receive an FTA notice, it behooves you to call an experienced traffic attorney. While you can handle this process yourself, it can take much longer on your own, costing you time away from work and up to three or more appearances at court. Plus, having an attorney on your side can help to negotiate lower fines or even have the charges dismissed altogether.

Our legal team at Bigger & Harman can help you navigate the legal steps required after receiving an FTA notice and give you the best chance to minimize your fines and penalties. Call our office at 661.349.9300 for a free phone consultation or contact us through our web page.

Reference:

California Courts

California Legislative Information