As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney, many of my clients approach me in order to meet Uber driver requirements such as obtaining a valid driver’s license and passing a criminal background check.
Often, a client’s license is suspended due to unpaid traffic tickets in Los Angeles. When you fail to pay a ticket online or appear in court to contest it by the date written at the bottom of your citation, your traffic ticket will be referred to the collections agency GC Services.
*Caution: Do not pay GC Services without being aware of the adverse effects. You can still get your license back without paying GC Services, as long as:
- You haven’t made a payment to GC Services under their “amnesty” program (amnesty stops anyway on March 31st, 2017).
- Your ticket status is “failure to appear” (FTA) rather than “matters set for compliance” or “failure to pay” (FTP).
If both requirements are met, then you’re still entitled to a court date, even though GC Services may lie and tell you that you don’t have the right to see the judge anymore!
(Note: these are the rules for Los Angeles County, where I practice law. Other counties may have different rules due to their unique contractual relationship with GC Services.)
Why is Paying GC Services Harmful?
Paying GC Services is harmful for a few different reasons:
- You’ll pay unnecessarily high fines.
- You’re pleading guilty to Vehicle Code 40508 as a misdemeanor, which will go on your criminal record.
- You’re pleading guilty to the traffic ticket, which means the inability to show proof of correction to get your fines reduced to a simple $25 dismissal fee. You will also get a point on your DMV record if the ticket is a moving violation (such as speeding, crossing over a double yellow line, etc.).
GC Services won’t tell you about all of the negative consequences because they’re a collections agency and are only concerned with getting your money, rather than looking out for your best interest.
As an attorney, I have your best interest in mind. Whether you hire a lawyer to help you fight your ticket, or you try and handle it in court yourself, it’s better to fight it in court if you’re eligible.
Uber Driver Requirements Can Still be Met without Paying GC Services
GC Services likes to pretend they’re your savior and they pretend they are your only option for getting your license back. THIS IS NOT TRUE AT ALL, as long as your ticket is still in FTA status and you haven’t paid under the amnesty program, as discussed above.
The truth is this:
- When you handle your ticket in court, the hold on your driver’s license is cleared at your first hearing, which is called your arraignment.
- Fighting your ticket in traffic court means you have the opportunity to get the entire matter dismissed! Often, the officer doesn’t even appear at trial in which case some or all of your charges will automatically be dismissed. Even when the officer shows to prosecute the ticket, there are many options available to offer defenses, provide evidence, and get your fines and fees knocked down.
- Fighting your case in court means you can keep your criminal record clear. As discussed above, when you pay GC Services you’re pleading guilty to Vehicle Code 40508 as a misdemeanor, which will go on your criminal record. By handling the case in court, the misdemeanor is automatically reduced to an infraction because traffic courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and they can’t hear felony or misdemeanor matters.
I don’t purport to know what Uber does with your criminal background once it’s reviewed, but my hunch is that it won’t look good if you have a misdemeanor on your criminal record for failure to appear in court – it simply doesn’t look professional or responsible (and all because you unknowingly paid an old traffic ticket!).
How a Lawyer Can Help You Meet Uber Driver Requirements
As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney, I’ve handled thousands of traffic tickets in court on behalf of my clients. It can be well worth your time and money to hire an attorney to help you with your unpaid traffic ticket in collections with GC Services, because your out of pocket cost will be far less than paying GC Services – not to mention the benefits of preserving your criminal record and keeping points off of your DMV record.
For a free consultation, you can reach me at 888-250-8450. If you’d like me to contact you, please fill out the contact form below.