What Happens If I Get a Ticket and Don’t Show Up to Court?
Not showing up in court when you get a ticket can have serious consequences for your right to drive in the State of California. When you are stopped by a police officer and receive a citation for a traffic law violation, you sign a promise to appear in traffic court. Once in court, you may plead guilty, not guilty, enter a “no contest" plea, or you may forfeit (pay) the citation fine. Paying the fine is treated as a guilty plea in that a conviction will go on your driving record.
If you choose to ignore the ticket and do not appear in court, the failing to appear (FTA) is noted on your driving record. If you fail to pay the fine (FTP), the court notifies the DMV and the FTP will be placed on your driving record as well. An FTA or FTP almost always results in suspension of your driver license. In addition, you will oftentimes be charged with a misdemeanor failure to appear charge (Failure to Appear 40508(a)) that could cost you thousands of dollars and adversely effect not on only your driving record, but your criminal record as well. Court dates are often missed in the Shafter and Lamont courts.
For every conviction of a moving traffic law violation that you receive, the court notifies the DMV and the conviction goes on your driver license record. The California DMV also adds convictions reported by other states to your driving record.
If you have a failure to appear or a failure to pay on a current case, please contact my office as soon as possible. I will immediately start working to get any possible holds off of your license and to keep your record clean.