Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedTypically, in California, even though a failure to appear or failure to pay a fine (FTA/FTP) is a misdemeanor crime, you will not be jailed for a first offense. However, under CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear, you could be looking at a misdemeanor, increased fines or both. 

Many drivers get confused because they don’t remember promising to appear in court after getting a traffic ticket. However, when you sign your traffic ticket, you are, in essence, making a promise to the people of California to resolve your traffic ticket or appear in traffic court on the date on the ticket or the court reminder.

Another sticking point could be when the driver does not receive a court reminder. They believe they can represent themselves and argue with the judge that they never received a court reminder. That will not work.

Although CA counties are required to send a court reminder, you cannot use the excuse that you were sent a reminder. There are a variety of methods to find out your court date. For instance, in Tulare County, you can check the webpage, Reserve a Traffic Court Date or call 559-730-5000, or go to the Court Clerk’s office at 221 South Mooney BLVD in Visalia, CA.

However, the most convenient and wisest option is to consult a traffic attorney who practices traffic law in Tulare County. Bigger & Harman, APC, offers a free, no-obligation consultation by phone or email. They’ll give you the details of your situation, how much is their flat fee, and get your FTA/FTP cleared, then resolve your traffic ticket if you agree to pay their fee.

However, do not drive until you clear the FTA/FTP. That could mean another misdemeanor ticket for driving with a suspended license if the judge told the DMV to suspend your license. There is a chance the traffic court judge issued a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are pulled over for any reason, they could even take you to the police station until your bail is set.     

What Are the Penalties for an FTA/FTP

When you FTA/FTP, the judge could find you guilty in absentia, levy the fine, and then add an administrative fee of up to $600 provided under Penal Code 1214.1Civil Assessments. 

In addition to the above, the traffic court judge could order:

  • A suspension of driving privileges until the FTA/FTP is resolved.
  • The court clerk will send a notice of nonpayment to the credit bureau.
  • The court clerk will send a notice to the collection agency used by Tulare County.
  • The judge will order DMV to reject your vehicle registration renewal.

For more information, read I Received an FTA Notice for a Red-Light Ticket I Never Got for more clarification.

Contact Bigger & Harman, APC, to Help with FTA/FTP in Tulare County 

Use the handy contact form for a free consultation with no obligation, or call Bigger & Harman, APC, at (661) 349-9300 or email

We often assist CA drivers in restoring their driving privileges and ask the traffic court judge to remove the fees ordered under penal Code 1214.1 administratively. You could be driving again within days without the worries. 

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.


The 2021 CA Driver Handbook English y Español

CVC Section 40508Release Upon Promise to Appear

Penal Code 1214.1Civil Assessments.
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