You could be charged with failure to appear if you do not go to court or pay your fine after receiving a traffic ticket in California. In this situation, you could face criminal charges. You could also have a bench warrant issued in your name. Fortunately, you may be able to clear your warrant.
Use this article to find out how to clear a failure to appear charge in California. Review your legal options to resolve this situation with the Simmrin Law Group. Go over the steps you may need to take by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
Reasons to Clear a Failure to Appear
If you fail to appear in court after you are issued a traffic ticket, it may have serious repercussions for you in the state of California. You may in fact be charged with a criminal act under Vehicle Code 40508a. This charge may be considered a misdemeanor, even if your initial ticket was for an infraction.
The judge presiding over your case could also issue a warrant for your arrest. This warrant will be called a “bench warrant.” Bench warrants do not expire or go away over time. The warrant remains on your record until you clear it.
A law enforcement officer could arrest you at any time for such a warrant. Once you are arrested, the officer could bring you to court and before a judge. For this reason, you may want to focus on clearing a bench warrant for failure to appear as quickly as possible.
Steps to Clear a Failure to Appear Warrant
In order to clear a bench warrant for failure to appear, you should contact a traffic violations lawyer in Los Angeles. In some situations, a lawyer may be able to go to court and clear the warrant on your behalf.
However, you should be aware that you may have to go to court yourself, especially if you are facing severe charges. A lawyer may be able to look over your case to determine if you can avoid a visit to the courtroom or not.
Keep in mind that you cannot simply wait for a bench warrant to expire. These warrants remain on your record until they are cleared. Focus on taking immediate action to clear a bench warrant here in California by calling (310) 997-4688.
Methods to Handle Charges for Failure to Appear
You can face criminal charges if you fail to appear in court as ordered in California. This criminal charge may not be cleared at the same time as your bench warrant. You may need to resolve this charge separately. Failure to handle a charge for failure to appear may lead to:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to six months
You may be placed on probation instead of sent to jail if you are convicted of failure to appear. However, this is not the case for all individuals who are convicted under VC 40508a. You may want to start building a defense against the charges you are facing right away. A lawyer could also help you handle the initial traffic violation that led to your VC 40508a charges.
Possible Defenses to Failure to Appear Charges
If you were accused of failure to appear in Los Angeles, a lawyer may be able to construct a defense for you. You may have your warrant cleared and your charges dismissed if your lawyer demonstrates that you did not intentionally avoid your court date. For example, your lawyer may be able to show that you failed to appear in court because:
- You did not know you had a court date.
- You were experiencing a medical emergency that prevented you from attending court.
- You were involved in an accident that kept you out of court.
In these situations, you may have your charges dropped and your warrant cleared. You may also resolve your charges if you demonstrate that you never promised to appear in court. However, this may be difficult, as generally signing and accepting a ticket qualifies as agreeing to appear in court or to pay your fine.
Learn How to Clear a Failure to Appear Warrant in California
How do you clear a failure to appear warrant in California? You may need to go to court to clear this warrant. In some cases, a lawyer can clear it for you. Find out more about your specific situation by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Call (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to learn more.
A member of our team can provide you with a free consultation today.