What Happens to Traffic Tickets in Collections?
Every jurisdiction in California operates a bit differently, but generally when you have traffic tickets in collections, you will face the same types of negative consequences. As a traffic ticket attorney serving southern California, we can help avert many of the negative consequences of a ticket in collections. For immediate assistance, call us today at 888-250-8450, or click the Free Consultation button at the bottom of this article.
Generally, there are two types of classifications of traffic tickets in collections – a failure to appear, and a failure to pay.
Failure to Appear
When you are issued a traffic ticket, at the bottom of your citation is the date by which you are required to either pay your ticket or request a court date to contest your ticket. If you fail to do this by the specified date, this is considered a failure to appear. The consequences of a failure to appear are as follows:
- you will be additionally charged with Vehicle Code 40508, which at its worst can be charged as misdemeanor
- the DMV will put a hold on your driver’s license under Vehicle Code 40509.5
- if you do not remedy the DMV hold for failure to appear and continue to drive, you may be charged with Vehicle Code 14601.1 for driving with a suspended license, which can be charged as a misdemeanor
- your case will be sent to collections, and you may face collections activities such as phone calls or letters in the mail demanding you pay your ticket immediately
As you can see, the negative consequences of failure to appear are quite extensive. The good news is, most of these consequences can be remedied quite easily. For help with your traffic ticket in collections, call us at 888-250-8450 or click the Free Consultation button below.
Failure to Pay
A failure to pay is different from a failure to appear. A failure to pay (“FTP”) occurs when you appeared in court in a timely manner, resolved your ticket before the judge, but you failed to pay the fines sentenced by the judge. An FTP will still be sent to collections, but the good news is, under a new California law your license will not be placed on hold for a failure to pay.
What You Should Do When You Have Traffic Tickets in Collections
The Best Way to Clear up a Failure to Appear
When you have a traffic ticket in collections that is a failure to appear, in the past you may have received threatening phone calls or letters from the collections agency GC Services. In Los Angeles, GC Services is no longer collecting for the Los Angeles County Traffic Court. The court is now conducting its own collections activities.
You may receive letters from the court asking you to pay the ticket so you can clear the hold from your license and get your license reinstated. However, this is normally not the best option. When you pay the ticket outright, you are pleading guilty to it, have no opportunity to negotiate your fines down, and may end up with one or points on your DMV record in the case where the ticket is a moving violation. Being convicted of a moving violation can cause your insurance rates to go up substantially.
The best way to handle a failure to appear is put it back in front of a judge. As traffic ticket attorneys, we can clear the hold from your license within a couple days, make all court appearances in court for you, and get your fines in court dismissed or substantially reduced. Further, in the case of moving violation traffic tickets we can request the court to grant you traffic school in order to keep the point off of your DMV record.
The Only Way to Clear up a Failure to Pay
In the FTP situation, since you have already had your day in court, you are normally prevented from seeing the judge again since you’ve already had your day in court. Some jurisdictions may allow you to request a court hearing to reduce the amount of fines you owe.
Although you are still legally obligated to pay your FTP, it will not be required to pay your FTP before you get your license back. Only the failure to appear will continue to hold your license until you resolve it.
Get Help Today with Your Traffic Tickets in Collections
If you have a traffic ticket in collections that is a failure to appear, we can help you exercise your right to a court hearing to get your fines reduced or dismissed, and to protect your DMV record. Call us today at 888-250-8450, or click below for a free consultation.