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In California, How can I see a Judge when my speeding ticket has gone to collections because I failed to appear?

Alamo, CA |

The clerk told me that my case had gone to collections and it was impossible to see the judge. My license was suspended, and DMV says that until I take care of the ticket with the court I can't get my license back. It's now a failure to pay (too). I am beyond poor, and cannot afford to pay off the ticket. It's up to $1,300. Is there any way I can get around paying it off and still get my license back? A motion for a new trial? A request for a stay of a driver license suspension? I know there has to be something. I am applying for work, and at least 70% of potential employers require a driver license.

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Filed under: Speeding tickets
Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Unless you have a good reason, the case will probably not be taken out of collections.
There is an option though, but it is complicated and time consuming . File a "Serna" motion, and when the judge refuses to hear it or likely does not grant it, you can file a writ, which may overturn the judge's decision. This is quite difficult for a non-lawyer to do, however.

Perhaps you can try to set up a payment plan with the collection agency.



What kind of a writ would get filed if the serna motion is not granted? Thank you.

Michael J Silveira

Michael J Silveira


A generic writ arguing that the trial court was wrong, you can find it at the judicial counsel website


In contra costs county, no. The only thing you can do is pay it off. You can do payments but they won't release the hold on your license until you pay in full.

Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney/client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Feasel to further investigate your situation, feel free to contact him thru this site.


No judge anywhere is going to talk to you about this. Judges don't hold audience with people who don't pay their bills. For this to have gone to collections you must have ignored the obligation for a long time. The best you can hope for right now is a payment plan.