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How to Handle a Forgotten Traffic Ticket

undefinedWhen you fail to resolve your traffic ticket and fail to appear in court on your appointed date, you will make matters much worse. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear makes it a misdemeanor crime for failure to appear (FTA). When you signed the traffic ticket given to you by law enforcement, you promised to resolve the ticket before the court date or appear.

Regardless of whether you received a courtesy notice from the court, you are obligated to resolve your ticket or appear in court.

Despite whatever results get achieved with the other ticket, an FTA is a criminal offense. The judge could issue a bench warrant; try you in absentia and assess a fine and negligent operator points; add an administrative fee of $300; the DMV could notify your home state through the Driver License Compact (DLC); and your name could get entered on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database if you are a non-California resident.  

What to do if You Forgot Your Traffic Ticket

If you forgot about your court date and received an FTA, you need to contact a traffic lawyer to resolve your FTA before you can handle the traffic ticket. Most traffic ticket attorneys will handle both for one price. There are only four legitimate legal excuses for missing a court date: hospitalization, incarceration, deportation, or military service outside the local area. 

Showing the court proof of one of these emergencies could forgive you for not appearing. However, your best option if you know you will be unable to attend the arraignment, or an actual court date, is to request a postponement. Well, that’s not quite true, the best option is to hire a traffic ticket attorney to handle the original ticket for you and have it done in the right way. The Bureau of Judicial Statistics (BJS) shows that 95 percent of traffic ticket recipients who hire a lawyer get a dismissal or reduced charge.   

The Traffic Ticket Fine Versus Auto Insurance

Considering the fine is only the beginning of the consequences for a conviction, the most significant expense is the increased auto insurance premium, it is wise to hire an attorney rather than pay the fine. Of course, not all tickets require a traffic attorney. In some cases, it makes more sense to accept the fine and attend Traffic Violators School (TVS) if you are eligible, but you need to consult with an attorney to know which traffic ticket requires an attorney.  

Consult a Traffic Attorney About a Ticket in Los Angeles County

When you have forgotten about a traffic ticket and/or missed your court date, call Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.  

We frequently take cases in Chatsworth, Glendale, and many other LA County Traffic Courts to help drivers retain their driving privileges. Likewise, we assist many who did not call us and wound up with a pending suspension and require representation at a DMV NOTS Hearing.  Give us a call to discuss your FTA or other situation.   

Send us an email, attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.  

References:

CVC 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear

The Judicial Branch of California website articleIf You Ignore Your Tickets

The Bureau of Judicial Statistics (BJS) website