If you have a Los Angeles traffic ticket in collections with GC Services, it is important to understand your options before you blindly pay them in order to get back your license.
You may still be eligible to get your license back without paying GC Services, as long as certain conditions are met.
As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney, I’ve been fighting traffic tickets for years and have personally handled thousands of tickets in court on behalf of clients. Part of the confusion surrounding traffic tickets is due to the several different agencies you are dealing with when you fail to appear on a traffic ticket – that is, the DMV, the Court, and collections.
It is often very difficult to keep the facts straight when you are getting different stories from everyone. For a free consultation, you can reach me below.
How to Know Whether or Not to Pay GC Services Collection Agency
GC Services collection agency contracts with the Los Angeles superior court to collect on failure to appear (FTA) traffic tickets.
GC Services may call you or send you a notice in the mail, demanding you pay them or risk losing your license. However, did you know you do not have to pay GC Services to get your license back?
Here is a quick and dirty way to know if you have to pay GC Services to get your license back:
- Your ticket is in failure to pay status (FTP) or failure to appear status (FTA) + the ticket is older than 5 years old – in this case the hold “falls off” and you won’t have to pay GC Services to clear the hold anymore
- Your ticket is in failure to appear status (FTA) + the ticket is LESS than 5 years old – in this case you are still entitled to a court date, even though GC Services may try to lie to you and tell you that you can’t get a court date!
Why You Should Handle Your Case in Court Instead of Pay GC Services
When You Pay GC Services…
When you pay GC Services on your traffic ticket, you are pleading guilty to:
- The underlying traffic ticket – this is the reason your license is on hold in the first place (you may have more than one ticket holding your license). In many cases, this underlying ticket is a California moving violation, which means you’ll get a point on your DMV record when you pay GC Services. The reason you don’t want to get too many points on your record is because your insurance company can raise your insurance rates if you get even one point. Further, you may be subject to a negligent operator suspension if you get too many points in a given period of time. (You can obtain a copy of your DMV record here.)
- Vehicle Code 40508 – as a misdemeanor offense! VC 40508 is a “wobblette” offense meaning it can be filed as a misdemeanor or an infraction. When you pay collections it will go on your criminal record as a misdemeanor offense. This doesn’t look good when an employer does a background check and sees a criminal conviction for failure to appear.
When You Fight the Ticket in Court…
When you fight your traffic ticket in court, the results are MUCH better, including:
- Potential dismissal of your entire case – you may have legal and procedural defenses resulting in an entire dismissal which means no fines, fees, convictions, or points on your DMV record.
- An opportunity to keep the point off of your DMV record by getting it dismissed, amended, or traffic school – this will keep your insurance rates from rising and ensure you do not get a “negligent operator suspension” which is a suspension of your driver’s license for receiving too many points on your DMV record.
- Reduction of your failure to appear misdemeanor to an infraction – traffic courts are courts of “limited jurisdiction” so they can’t hear felony or misdemeanor matters. Consequently, by handling your traffic ticket in court, the failure to appear charge is automatically bumped down to an infraction and won’t go on your criminal record.
- Reduction in your traffic ticket fines – even in the case where you are found guilty in traffic court, the fines owed to the court will be MUCH lower. For starters, when you handle your case in front of a judge, you (or your traffic ticket attorney on your behalf) have an opportunity to present evidence to the court to get your fines dismissed or significantly reduced.
- Ensure the hold is actually cleared from your driver’s license – GC Services is supposed to release the hold from your license after you pay them, but sometimes they don’t! Guess what, now that they have your money, they aren’t all that motivated to help you out anymore. I’ve had people call me and ask for assistance once they’ve paid GC Services and GC Services wasn’t clearing the hold like they said they would. When you hire me to fight the ticket for you, I ensure the hold from your license is cleared, because you’re my client and as your attorney I owe you a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest. GC Services isn’t concerned about your best interest, only in getting their money.
Decide Whether to Handle the Ticket Yourself or Hire an Attorney
You can always represent yourself in traffic court. Depending on your situation, it may be more beneficial (when considering time spent and effort exerted) to hire an attorney in your situation. I’ve represented clients from all over the United States as well as internationally concerning their Los Angeles traffic tickets.
For a free consultation with me personally, click here: