When you receive a citation there is a date on the bottom of it indicating when you must appear in court or set an arraignment date by. By signing the ticket you promised to go to court by said date. If you fail to do appear in court, or the clerk’s window, by said date another charge- FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT is added. Failing to appear (FTA) is perhaps the most common mistake a person makes. An FTA is a misdemeanor (40509. 5 Vehicle Code). The court is not required to send you a courtesy notice reminding of your court date or how much you have to pay. An FTA will add additional fines to your ticket- sometimes as high as $300. 00.
CONSEQUENCES OF AN FTA
As soon as you fail to appear in court for a traffic ticket the DMV gets notified and a DMV Hold is placed on your license. This remains until you take affirmative steps in resolving your ticket. This Hold can result in the inability to renew your license and/or the suspension of your driving privileges.
Clearing an FTA!
In order to clear an FTA you must get the court to send the DMV and abstract. An abstract is sent electronically to the DMV by the Court and informs them that you are doing something about taking care of your outstanding ticket. Some courts charge $10. 00 for an abstract. Some courts require motions to get an abstract. You cannot get an abstract by phone or over the internet. This must be done in person. The biggest mistake you can make is not taking care of your ticket immediately.
Many people come from Out of State or from a Foreign Country to California for vacations, work and to partake in all of the tourist attractions The Golden State has to offer. Unfortunately while here they often receive a speeding ticket, red light ticket or other moving violation.
THESE TICKETS CANNOT BE IGNORED!
Because of “The Interstate Compact Act” most states share information. If you get a speeding ticket here you can rest assured that Arizona, New York or any of the remaining States DMV will pick your violation. If you ignore the ticket here it will go to warrant and a Failure to appear misdemeanor (40509. 5 VC) will also be added to your underlying offense. This will place a hold, and potentially a suspension on your license. Your state will also place a hold on your license. Fortunately, a California can appear for you in all proceedings and fight the ticket and remove the hold if necessary. There is the possibility if you are foreign citizen and have a ticket you failed to deal with, that you could be barred from re-entry into the U. S.