Failure to Appear in Los Angeles
When you receive a traffic ticket for an infraction, you sign a promise to appear on or before a certain court date. Your failure to keep your promise is a separate offense and is a misdemeanor.
Among other things, a failure to appear can lead to suspension of your driving privilege and hefty fines. If left un handled for too long, these fines go to Government Collection Services where the only recourse left is paying a ransom to get your driving privilege returned. This could also lead to a suspension of you driving privilege at the DMV. If this should occur, you would then be required to purchase and maintain proof of insurance in the form of an SR-22 that would have to be kept on file for three yeas.
Don’t let this happen to you. It is much easier to deal with this sooner, rather than later. Also, having an attorney represent you in this process almost always pays for itself as it demonstrates to a judge that you’re taking matters seriously and are sincere about dealing with the problem.
If you fail appear in the case of a misdemeanor, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest with a bail amount that would typically be in excess of $20,000. That means that should you have occasion to have contact with the police, and they run your information, you would likely be arrested and kept until bail was posted or you were taken to the court that issued the warrant. If this were to happen on a Friday night, you would likely be spending the weekend in jail
Many people are understandably afraid of going to court. It is always a good idea to hire an attorney prior to your court date as, in most misdemeanor cases, he can appear for you without your having to appear. If you haven’t been able to retain a lawyer prior to the court date, just go to court anyway and ask the judge to give you a couple of weeks to obtain counsel. I have never seen a judge deny such a request.
If you fail to appear on a felony case, the judge will revoke your bail and it will be forfeited to the court. Suffice to say, your bail bondsman will not be happy, and you could end up being taken to court in handcuffs by the bail agent. This is not the best way to start your case.