What many drivers fail to understand is when they are issued a ticket or citation by a California law enforcement officer (LEO), they must sign or be taken in and forced to post bail. When you do not show for court, an authorized continuance, or otherwise resolve a traffic ticket, you are subject to a failure to appear (FTA) charge.
An FTA Charge Is a Misdemeanor Crime
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear, warns, “A person willfully violating his or her written promise to appear…in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail is guilty of a misdemeanor…” Even if you are not guilty of the infraction or crime for which you were first stopped, you could face a significant fine, license suspension, jail time, administrative fees, a bench warrant, and an additional fine, or a combination of these. You should hire a traffic attorney to resolve your FTA charge and the original citation.
Although most courts send a court notice of appearance that states what date you are to appear, non-receipt of a court notice is NOT an excuse for not appearing if you have not paid your ticket.
The truth is you should consult a traffic attorney before you take any action on a traffic ticket, as they could possibly get it dismissed or reduced. Although there are no guarantees, we have an exemplary record of success in Hanford Traffic Court.
The Traffic Ticket that Resulted in an FTA Charge
Chances are your first traffic ticket was an infraction for speeding, failure to stop for a stop sign or red-light, following too closely, or another. Although these infractions might have an expensive fine, the severity of penalty is minor compared to a misdemeanor such as an FTA charge.
Many CA drivers believe they cannot afford to pay their fine. And others think they cannot afford to hire an attorney because they’ve heard horror stories on TV or in the movies of an attorney who charges by the hour, usually more than what they make in a week.
What’s different about traffic attorneys like those at Bigger & Harman, APC, is they provide potential clients a FREE initial consultation, and they work on a flat fee to resolve your situation. Regardless of how long it takes to resolve your traffic issues, or how many court appearances it takes, the payment does not change.
What’s more, Bigger & Harman will keep you out of court. They will handle every aspect of your FTA charge and the original ticket, while you return to school or work.
No one wants to spend time in court, especially if you could be working, or those with immigration issues.
Immigration Hold or Deportation Due to an FTA Charge
An FTA charge is often a misdemeanor crime that could spell trouble for you with immigration. If you are in the country on a work or tourist visa, you don’t want a misdemeanor charge of any kind hanging over your head.
Issues with law enforcement can lead to an immigration hold on your residency request or lead to deportation. The best method of keeping a clean driving and criminal record is to hire a traffic attorney to resolve your ticket issue before it becomes an FTA charge.
Attorneys Who Can Handle an FTA Charge in Kings County
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are Bakersfield traffic attorneys who frequently handle traffic law issues for drivers in Hanford Traffic Court in Kings County.
The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf
The NCIC webpageCVC Section 40508, Release Upon Promise to Appear