FTA - Failure to Appear in court - California VC 40508(a)
You promised to go to court
By signing the traffic ticket the police gave to you, you have given them a written promise to go to court and your failure to resolve your ticket will result in a misdemeanor charge (a criminal offence).
What is an FTA VC 40508(a)?
An FTA is a warrant or hold for Failure To Appear in court on a traffic ticket. When you are issued a traffic ticket and you fail to deal with it by the due date, you will then most likely:-
- Be charged with VC 40508(a) of the California Vehicle Code, FTA - Failure to Appear - a misdemeanor (a criminal offence),
- And the Government will now:-
- Seek a large fine from you
- the Court will usually contact the DMV and put a hold on your license and your license will then soon be suspended.
When you fail to appear in court the court will first put your ticket in FTA RF Phase 1 - this means the court will charge you a $150 fee on top of your ticket fine and will then send you a letter indicating you have failed to appear in court. Once this letter is sent to you if you do not take any action on your ticket within 20 days the court will then put your ticket in FTA RF Phase 2 - this means the court will charge you another $150 and then will transfer control of your ticket from the court to GC Services, a collection agency.
FTA RF Phase 1 - this means the court will charge you an additional $150 fee on top of your original fine and send you a letter informing you of your failure to appear in court (FTA)
FTA RF Phase 2 - this means because you didn't take any action on your ticket within 20 days after a letter was sent to you, the court will then transfer your ticket to the control of GC Services, the collection agency and charge you another $150 for a total of $300 in civil assessment fees on top of your original ticket fine.
Please call us if your license is suspended and your ticket is in FTA RF Phase 1 or FTA RF Phase 2 or the status of your ticket is DMV Driver License Hold or In Collections FTA. We can help in Los Angeles County - (310) 285-1516.
Excuses for FTA
Unfortunately, the only excuses which Judges will usually accept for Failures to Appear (FTA) on your traffic ticket are:-
- You were in the military
- Or you were in jail
- Or you were in hospital
- and you must have documentation that proves these things.
Missing your court date
Inconveniently, a lot of courts don’t send you a courtesy notice of your court date. When you miss your court date, the court contacts the California DMV and most of the time gets the DMV to suspend your license for FTA (Failure To Appear) on your traffic ticket.
Penalties for FTA
FTA (Failure To Appear) on your traffic ticket can result in any one or more of the following penalties:-
- The issuance of a bench warrant
- A bench warrant will only be issued on a misdemeanor charge. You may be arrested and held in jail until your arraignment or you may be required to sign a promise to appear in court at a further date.
- The imposition of a civil assessment of $300. Per 1214.1 Penal Code, the court may impose a civil assessment of up to $300 against any defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court for any proceeding authorized by law or who fails to pay all or any portion of a fine ordered by the court.
- A DMV Hold on your driving privilege and/or registration. If you fail to appear (FTA), a DMV Hold may be placed against your driver’s license or registration. This Hold may result in your driving privilege being suspended (suspended license).
- Your fine may be referred to GC Services collection agency for collection.
Los Angeles Traffic Ticket Attorney - we can help
Call us on (310) 285-1516 - we can help make this headache go away.
Call us immediately (310) 285-1516 for a free legal consultation with a Los Angeles Traffic Ticket Attorney.
See also why it is dangerous to drive on a Suspended License.