Fix Suspended License: First Things First
Do you see this picture of the couple on the bike? As romantic as it looks, this will be you and your significant other for the foreseeable future unless you get your driver’s license back.
As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney, I get a lot of calls from people who want to fix their suspended driver’s license.
The first question I always ask is: Do you know why your license is suspended?
More frequently than not, people who come to me for help are unsure of exactly why their license is suspended in the first place. This is completely understandable, particularly when you have heard different stories from different agencies, such as:
- The Court
- GC Services, a Collections Agency
- The DMV
You have to remember that although the Court and GC Services are related to the reasons why your license is suspended, the DMV is the only agency you need to be concerned with, at least initially, when trying to get your license back.
The best place to start is with the DMV. You can download a copy of your DMV report from the DMV website for $2 here. Or, you can call the DMV Mandatory Actions Unit at 916-657-6525.
Your license can be suspended for several reasons, including unpaid child support or too many points on your DMV record (getting your license suspended for receiving too many points is called a negligent operator suspension).
But the most common reason, which is the reason I’m able to help so many people get their licenses back, is due to a failure to appear on a traffic ticket.
The DMV will tell you everything you need to know about the traffic ticket(s) causing your license to be suspended, including:
- The courthouse where the traffic ticket holding your license is located.
- The citation number of the ticket holding your license.
- The status of your traffic ticket: failure to appear means you’ve never been to court; failure to pay means you’ve already been to court and been ordered to pay fines/ complete community service but you didn’t so in the time allotted by the court.
This information is going to be a starting point for getting your license back.
Fix Suspended License: When Your Case Has Been Referred to GC Services
If your traffic ticket was received within Los Angeles County, and you either failed to pay or failed to appear on your ticket, your case will be referred to a collections agency called GC Services.
GC Services collects for the Los Angeles County Superior Court on all unpaid traffic tickets. Here’s the problem with GC Services: they will screw you over. Here is how:
- They will lie to you. Time and again I receive inquiries from those who have brushed up against GC Services, only to learn they have been direcly lied to. “You can’t get another court date” and “You have to pay us to get your license back” are common lies I’ve heard. The truth: you can still get your license back without paying GC Services, and you can still see the judge on your ticket, as long as you haven’t done so already.
- When you pay them, you’re pleading guilty on your ticket and the failure to appear charge. When you fail to appear on a traffic ticket, you’re charged with VC 40508 (failure to appear) as a misdemeanor. This will go on your criminal record when you pay the collections agency. When fighting the ticket in court, the failure to appear autmatically gets bumped down to an infraction.
- When you pay them, you may adversely affect your DMV record. Paying the ticket to collections also means you’ll pay high fines, and get a point on your DMV record in the case where the ticket is a moving violation, which can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket.
- When you pay them, you are paying them their collections fee. Part of the balance GC Services wants includes their own paycheck…how do you think they get paid for collecting on your ticket? They get paid by you! Their fee for collecting is built in to the amount they want from you.
The point is, you don’t want to pay GC Services, especially if you don’t have to. You only have to pay GC Services in the “failure to pay” or “matters set for compliance’ stage. All other tickets with status of “warrant”, “failure to appear”, or VC 40509.5 hold can still be handled in court – and, SHOULD be handled in court.
Fix Suspended License: The Easy Way
My law firm’s mission is to educate and to assist. Once you know the facts, the ball is in your court to act the best way you see fit. If you’re interested in hiring a traffic defense lawyer to help you out, please call me for a free phone consultation at 888-250-8450 or use the Contact Form below.