Failure to Appear Warrants (FTA)
For many traffic violations, once you are cited you are required to sign your ticket. Signing it does not mean you are accepting that your are guilty. It means that you are promising to appear in a court by a certain day and time. You may plead guilty and pay your fine, in which case there is no need to appear in the court any more. But if you plead not guilty, or take no action, you should appear in court. You may receive a courtesy note as to what you should do next or if the court time changes.
It is very important to keep that date and appear at court. If for any reason you forget to do so or be in court on a wrong day or time, or the notice from DMV gets lost in mail, you have failed to appear at court. Failure to appear in court in California for any reason, results in a California FTA warrant(failure to appear) issued in your name. Clearing a FTA warrant from your DMV record is a lengthy and frustrating procedure. If you have a FTA warrant in your name and you get pulled over for any traffic violation, whether you are guilty or not, you would get arrested and taken to jail immediately.
FTA's are considered misdemeanors. These warrants will appear on any background check. The points of a FTA warrant remain on your record for at least 5 years. If the warrant was issued due to failure to appear at court for a DUI offense, the points will be on your record for 10 years. This warrant will be active on your record until you appear in court.
You have to deal with these warrants anyways. If you have a California FTA warrant on your record, you wouldn't be able to find a good job, you wouldn't be eligible for any loans and even welfare aids would be denied for you. Once your insurance company finds out about the warrant, your rates are going to rise substantially. In some cases, your insurance might get cancelled too.
Failure to Appear (FTA)/Warrants for Commercial Drivers
When you are pulled over for most of the traffic violations, you are asked to sign your ticket. By signing it you are promising to appear in a court of law by a certain date. If, for any reason, you fail to appear at the right day and time, a FTA (failure to appear) warrant will be issued in your name. If you make any other violation and are pulled over, you might get arrested and sent to jail.
Clearing a FTA warrant in California is a frustrating procedure and takes a lot of time. It also has a lot of effects on commercial licenses. Therefore, it is very important to take care of the tickets and attend court, if applicable, in a timely manner. A traffic lawyer at our office can help you clear your FTA warrant.