If you fail to appear in court for traffic violation

Asked over 1 year ago - San Jose, CA

can judge enter default judgement against you? without sworn testimony of officer just based on ticket? can i challenge identity issue in court? how can i do that?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Chris J Feasel

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Well, if you FTA, that's kind of like forfeiting your right to contest things. However, I have seen it where, if there was an FTA for the initial arraignment, the court may allow you to come back and set it for a court trial - but you will still have to pay the $300 FTA fine, on top of whatever other penalties there might be. Get a traffic attorney to assist you.

    Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing... more
  2. Tomas Michael Flores

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You cannot challenge identity if you, or your lawyer does not appear in court. A good way to fight identity is to have your attorney show up for you, while you are not in the court room. The officer, in my experience, has to make a positive identification on the photo in your drivers' license. I have seen traffic officers look at the license photo and testify that they cannot remember pulling this person over. This strategy is lost if you are sitting in the court room, and the officer remembers your face.

    If you want to challenge ID, it's a good idea to hire a lawyer and have him/her appear for you.

    The above is not legal advice, and should not supplement actual legal advice from an attorney with whom you have... more
  3. Paul J. Denni Esq.

    Contributor Level 4


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends on which type of hearing you missed. If you missed an arraignment, often you can go back to the court and schedule an arraignment, although a VC 40508 (failure to appear charge) may be added to your traffic infraction. If you missed an arraignment and never do anything about it, the ticket usually goes into collections. If you missed a trial date, the judge can declare a "bail forfeiture" and summarily find you guilty of the ticket. Good luck!

  4. Linda A Iannelli


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Check out Vehicle Code 40903 and the back side of the citation. If the officer has properly completed the citation, you may be prosecuted in abstentia. Properly verified the Citation is sworn testimony of the officer. To challenge identity at trial, you have to plead not guilty and set the matter for a trial.

    Feel free to contact us for a consultation. Iannelli & Associates, 949 729-3171 This answer does not... more

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