When you receive a traffic ticket in California, you agree to appear in traffic court to resolve the citation. If you fail to do so or do not hire an attorney to represent you, the court will issue a Failure to Appear (also known as an FTA Warrant) which can have serious consequences. Failing to appear for a court date is a criminal offense that can result in additional fines, fees, a suspended driver’s license, and a bench warrant for your arrest.
If you neglected to pay a traffic ticket, failed to appear in traffic court, or the court has already issued an FTA Warrant, CheapTrafficAttorneys.com can help. We have a proven track record of defending clients against all types of traffic violations throughout Southern California. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can protect your driving privileges.
By signing a traffic ticket in California, you enter into an agreement with the state to appear in court to address the citation. If you break your promise to appear on or before the date listed on the traffic ticket, you can be charged with Failure to Appear under the California Vehicle Code, Section 40508(a), which is a misdemeanor.
In addition, failing to appear in California can be charged as a separate offense from the underlying traffic violation. Moreover, penalties for failure to appear can be imposed regardless of whether you are found guilty of the underlying violation. In order to gain a conviction, however, the state must be able to prove (1) you received a citation, (2) you signed a written promise to appear in court, and (3) you willfully failed to appear in court.
It is important to note that you cannot use a defense that you thought you would be notified by mail since the state of California no longer issues reminder notices due to budget constraints. The citation with the appearance date serves as your notice, and signing the agreement is your promise to appear. In addition, saying you forgot, or that you lost the citation, are not valid defenses for Failure to Appear.
In any event, if you fail to appear in court or pay your ticket your driver’s license may be suspended. There may also be additional consequences, such as:
If you are stopped by the police or law enforcement after an FTA Warrant has been issued, you will be arrested, and your license will likely be suspended until the matter is resolved.
If you have unpaid traffic tickets, or if you failed to appear in court, your license can be suspended, and you will face misdemeanor charges and a potential jail sentence. A failure to appear violation will also become part of your driving record, which could affect your livelihood if you are a commercial truck driver, work for a delivery service, or drive for Uber or Lyft. What started as a simple traffic violation can quickly become a more serious legal matter when you fail to appear in traffic court.
At CheapTrafficAttorneys.com we have successfully settled Failures to Appear, clearing traffic warrants and getting FTA warrants dismissed. We are well-versed in the California Vehicle Code and familiar with the rules of the traffic courts in Orange, South Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties. Our legal team can help you by:
We will also determine whether a compelling circumstance resulted in your FTA. If you were seriously ill, are serving in the military, or were incarcerated on the date of your scheduled court appearance, we may be able to have the violation dismissed.
You should not face a license suspension, fines, and other penalties, including jail time, on your own. Our team has saved clients hundreds of dollars having the court agree to reduce the penalties and civil assessments. If you have have been issued Failures to Appear or have a traffic ticket warrant, please contact CheapTrafficAttorneys.com immediately to begin the process of clearing the warrant. The consultation is free and you will have peace of mind knowing that experienced traffic ticket attorneys are fighting to protect your driving privileges.