What Happens If You Forget to Pay a Traffic Ticket in Orange County, CA?With all the events going on in our lives, it’s understandable that we occasionally forget things. But what happens when you forget something really important – like paying a traffic ticket? If you forget to pay a traffic ticket in Orange County, CA, you could be facing some serious consequences.

When you signed your traffic ticket, you made a promise to the state to comply with its orders to appear in court at the date assigned on the ticket. If you don’t wish to go to court or contest the ticket, you can simply plead guilty and pay the fine by mail before your court date.

If you disagree with the officer that issued the ticket, you can show up on your assigned court date, plead not guilty, and the judge will assign a trial date.

Whether you’re pleading guilty, not guilty, or no contest, the most important thing is to take care of your ticket on or before your court date. Even if you don’t have the money to pay the fine, you still need to show up; the court usually provides payment options for those with financial hardships.

Failure to Appear in Traffic Court is a Misdemeanor Crime in California

Failure to appear, pay, or comply with the court is a misdemeanor crime in California. If convicted, you could be facing a fine of up to six months in county jail and/or up to $1000 in fines.

A $100 civil assessment may be added to the original fines. The judge can order a wage garnishment and bank levies to ensure the assessment is paid. (Each subsequent failure to comply may result in an additional $100 civil assessment against you.)

You may also have your driver’s license impounded and your driving privileges revoked for up to 30 days.

Defending Yourself Against Failure to Appear Charges

If you’ve forgotten about a traffic ticket until after the court date or were unable to show up because of an emergency, the first thing to do is talk to an attorney with experience in failure to appear cases. It’s essential to be able to convince a judge that you didn’t miss the court date on purpose and that you had no intention of evading the court process.

If you missed the date because of an emergency, you’ll have to be able to show that there was in fact an emergency and that it was serious enough to justify breaking a court date or paying your fine by mail.

Speak to an Orange County, CA Traffic Ticket Attorney About Your Failure to Appear Charges

If you’re in trouble because you failed to pay your ticket or appear at a court date, Orange County, CA traffic ticket attorney Jim Tanizaki can help. In some instances, Jim may be able to get the bench warrant cleared, have the failure to appear charges dismissed, and maybe even get the original infraction charges dismissed.

Don’t wait for the law to come knocking at your door. Take steps to protect your rights. Contact the law office of Jim Tanizaki through our website or call us at (714) 655-7633 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your failure-to-appear case with an experienced Orange County, CA traffic ticket lawyer.