Clear License Suspension from Failure to Appear on a Traffic Ticket
Failure to Appear
When someone fails to appear in court by the date on the bottom of the ticket, the court will send them a notice of collections, also called a courtesy notice. From the day of mailing, the person has ten days to set up a new court date or appear in court before a civil assessment of $300 is added. However, Los Angeles County also adds Vehicle Code counts right away in many cases, including 40509.5 and 40508, for failing to appear, which can add several hundred additional dollars to the cost of your ticket Different courts have different rules about how to see a judge. Some judicial officers are sympathetic to defendants who fail to appear. However, usually, without a valid excuse-military service, hospitalized, jailed, the failures to appear remain. Many judges will reduce the total costs, probably because they know it is absurd to be charge $1200 for a ticket that was originally $240. If you do not resolve your case, a hold will remain on your DMV record. Usually, this means that you will not be able to renew your license when it comes time for renewal. However, you may receive a letter from the DMV that gives you a date when your license will be suspended if not resolved ASAP. If you have two FTA/CIVAs, then your license is going to be suspended for sure, but you will still get a notice letter from the DMV giving you the date the suspension will take place. The notice from the DMV is important because to convict someone on a charge for driving on a suspended license requires knowledge of the suspension. There is a presumption of knowledge if the letter was mailed to the address the defendant has on file with the DMV.
First, the judicial officer will ask if you want to plead guilty and pay your fines. If you do not, they you better know what else to do. You still have rights, but the court will hold your drivers license over your head (a DMV hold can result in a suspension of your license) until your case is resolved. Maybe you can take traffic school. Maybe you want to set your case for trial. You must decide what you want to do with the underlying case. However, in Los Angeles County at this time, they are only releasing DMV holds if you resolve your case the same day.
Abstract to DMV to Lift Hold
After you resolve your case, the court will send a notice to the DMV to lift any hold on your driving privilege. You must then go to the DMV and pay a re-issue fee of $55, in most cases. Then you will get your license back.
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