As a former NC prosecutor, I have seen thousands of cases where people did not have the money to pay their fines and court costs. Most of the time, the prosecutor or court will continue your case to give you time to pay.
However, just to be safe, I suggest you try to get to court before your actual court date. In most NC jurisdictions, you can have your case added onto the calendar in advance of your scheduled date (call the Clerk of Court to find out if this is possible and what the procedure is so that you don't waste a trip to court).
If you can get your case added onto the calendar, explain your situation and ask the prosecutor to continue your case. If the prosecutor refuses, ask the judge to continue your case. If the judge refuses, call your previous attorney and explain what you have done and ask him to help you this one last time (I'm assuming you have already asked him to help, but a second request can't hurt you).
If all else fails, this is the process you are going to face (assuming that after driving school you ended up with something less than a misdemeanor . . . like an improper equipment, unsafe movement, speeding less than 16 mph over the posted speed, exceeding the posted speed, etc.). If you fail to pay your ticket on your court date, the ticket will enter what is known as the 20 day status and you will be marked with an FTC (Failure to Comply). You will receive an additional $20 fine. At the expiration of the 20 days, if you still haven't paid, you will receive an additional $200 fine and the Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified that you have not paid your fine.
The DMV will send you a letter stating that you have until X date to pay all the money you owe or you will lose your license. If you don't pay the money by your DMV deadline, your license will be suspended and will remain suspended until you pay.
Once you pay the court the money you owe (including all the fines), you license will not automatically be restored. You will have to contact the DMV and jump through their hoops. You will also have to pay a $50 restoration fee.
If after driving school you ended up with a misdemeanor (C&R, speeding more than 15 mph over the posted speed, etc.), the scenario is exactly the same with one small scary change. They could issue a warrant for you arrest. This is unlikely unless your original speed was something ridiculous like 35 mph or greater over the posted speed.
Hope this helps!
The information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva is based upon the generic and ambiguous facts presented in short questions. Without a full consultation with an attorney, you should not rely upon any information presented in this forum. The intricate facts of every case are different. The information provided is not legal advice and should not be the basis of any decision without the actual guidance of an attorney. Further, any information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva should not be perceived as a willingness to represent you or actual representation.
Go to court. Show the prosecutor and the judge the proof of your driver safety course you completed. Ask for a fine reduction. Many jurisdictions offer options such as payment plans or even community service hours in lieu of payment of fines. If your attorney is still around they can speak with the prosecutor and judge about this for you.
The information provided is not intended as legal advice and does not establish an attorney client relationship. If you are in the greater Sacramento area and wish a further consultation please contact me at (916)594-9442.
You need to have this conversation with your attorney.
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