If you have a recent traffic ticket or red light camera ticket, it’s important to address your ticket as soon as possible. Some drivers who forget about the ticket or can’t pay it right away may deal with additional consequences beyond the initial issue. It’s best to immediately research how to fight traffic ticket charges instead of waiting. What happens if you don’t pay a speeding ticket? Here are some things that could happen if you don’t pay your ticket on time.
Most California courts give traffic violators up to 90 days to pay the fine or enter a plea. 90 days, in the court’s opinion, is more than enough time for a person to decide how they want to proceed and to take action. If, after the grace period expires, you have yet to address the issue, the courts may tack a “civil assessment” onto what you already owe. Typically, this assessment is in the ballpark of $300.
If you fail to pay the original fine and the assessment within an additional grace period, the court may send your case to collections. The only way to avoid the civil assessment and collections actions is to respond to the ticket in some way. Whether this involves paying the fine or appearing in court doesn’t matter – the court just wants to know you’re not ignoring the ticket.
Suspended Driver’s License
Not paying a speeding ticketor failing to appear in court to address the citation may also result in a suspended driver’s license. A suspended driver’s license will only add insult to injury. For instance, if you did not pay your ticket because of financial hardship, your financial situation will only get worse without any way to get to and from work. You may also have to pay a fee to reinstate your license once the court does clear you to do so.
Car Registration Renewal Problems
In addition to having trouble with your driver’s license, your car’s registration could also be impacted by an unpaid ticket or an illegal U turn ticket. Experienced ticket fighters or attorneys could help if your situation gets to this point.
Over time, in many places, unpaid tickets may lead to misdemeanor charges if you get a court notice for your traffic issue. When you do not appear in court as summoned, the court may charge you with a “failure to appear.” FTA is a violation of the written promise you made when you signed the speeding ticket at the time of the stop. The courts always frown upon breach of contract, but they take especially strict measures when the injured party is one of their own. In addition to a misdemeanor, the court may also charge you with an infraction for failure to pay.
In the most extreme situations, unpaid traffic tickets could lead to an arrest warrant. Though this is typically not what happens if you don’t pay a speeding ticket, if you have several points on your record, have an outstanding criminal history or showed extreme lack of respect for the court, the arresting officer or both, the courts may not feel bad about issuing a warrant.If this happens to you, it’s important to contact an attorney right away.
If you have a traffic ticket and want to fight it, contact The Ticket Clinic as soon as possible. Waiting around for your ticket to go away is not a smart choice and could lead to more problems.