People get traffic tickets every day, whether it’s for speeding, running a red light, reckless driving, DUI, or even parking tickets. California traffic tickets come with notoriously high fines, as the state, counties, and cities use traffic fines as revenue generators. While most of us grudgingly pay our traffic tickets, it’s also easy to forget to pay the ticket. Life gets in the way. And for many people, money is tight, so you ignore the ticket and hope for the best..
But failure to pay traffic tickets in California can land you in hot water. Unpaid tickets can result in additional fines. Until June 2017, when the Governor signed a new bill, failure to pay those fines could lead to an automatically suspended or revoked license. Now the DMV no longer does that. But ignoring your ticket can still lead to a suspended license, or jail time. So it’s not a straight line from failing to pay a ticket to jail time, but you can go to jail as a result of not paying traffic tickets in California.
At Simmrin Law Group, we know every case is different, but generally, if you’re not going to dispute a traffic ticket, we would advise you to pay the traffic ticket on time, so you avoid further fines or suspension of your license. If you need a traffic lawyer to help you dispute a ticket or help you navigate the system if you’re facing more fines and a suspended license, our experienced traffic violation lawyers can help you decide how best to move forward, and what your best legal options are. Depending on the reasons behind your traffic tickets, we can represent you in traffic court and in DMV hearings.
Failure to Appear
If you do not pay your ticket or appear in court, you could have your license suspended, and you may face additional penalties. Not showing up in court is called Failure to Appear. If you violate the promise to appear (you signed a promise when you received your ticket), you might be found guilty of an additional crime. Now, if you or your traffic lawyer contacted the court before your Notice to Appear date (which is listed on your ticket) and made other arrangements, you may not need to appear, but you need to confirm that with the court.
If you did not already pay your traffic ticket, and you fail to appear in court, the traffic court judge can do several things, including:
- Civil assessment ($300 to your fine amount)
- Hold a trial in absentia and find you guilty
- Refer your case for collection
- Issue a warrant for your arrest
Types of Traffic Cases We Handle
At Simmrin Law Group, we can help you with a number of traffic violations, including:
- Reckless Driving
- Driving With a Suspended License
- Driving Without Insurance
- Running a Red Light
- And more
We have a solid record of helping our clients get charges reduced or dismissed. If you’re facing one or more traffic tickets, the last thing you want to do is fail to appear in court. Some traffic violations cases can be handled without you appearing in court, while others require a mandatory court appearance. In certain cases, your lawyer can appear in court for you, so you don’t miss work. Hiring a traffic lawyer would probably be in your best interests if you are facing a felony, misdemeanor, or major infraction charge. For minor traffic violations, you may want to at least consult with a lawyer.
Hiring a traffic violations lawyer may sound like an expensive proposition, but hiring a lawyer can actually save you money in the long run, if we are able to get your charges or fines reduced. We can represent you in traffic court or criminal court, depending on the traffic violation.
As everyone knows, auto insurance companies watch your driving record like hawks, and will assess increased premiums for points on your license or traffic convictions. And getting a reduced charge can also reduce the number of points on your license, which can help you avoid an automatic suspension of your license.
Contact a Los Angeles Traffic Lawyer for a FREE Consultation
Whatever the circumstances of your traffic ticket is, if you want to dispute it, you need an experienced traffic violation lawyer working with you to help make sure you get the best possible outcome for you, your job, and your family.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious traffic violation, or you have been arrested for not paying your traffic tickets, call the Simmrin Law Group at 310-997-4688 or use our contact form for a free case evaluation. We’re available to help you 24/7.