Failure to Appear Defense Attorney in Mojave and Kern County
Call Matt or Alex at 661-243-1084
When you need us we are here to help. Pursuant to California
law, a willful violation of a promise to appear in Court is a
misdemeanor, even if the original charge was an infraction.
What this means is that even if your original ticket was simply an
infraction such as speeding or a lane violation, if you FTA than
the case can become a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to
six months in jail. When you were released for the initial violation
the officer had you sign the ticket and you were issued a yellow
copy. That signature was a promise to appear in Court and
address the ticket, when you fail to show the FTA kicks in.
Although the offense can be a misdemeanor, it is possible to
have the District Attorney or the Judge amend the charge back to
an infraction, or in some cases, dismiss the charge completely.
When a defendant fails to appear in Mojave or any other court in
Kern county, the judge has the power to:
• Order a bench warrant for the defendant’s immediate arrest.
• Treat the failure to appear as an election to have a trial by
written declaration upon any alleged infraction.
• Impose a civil assessment penalty of over $1000 for a
continued failure to appear ten days after mailing a warning
notice to the defendant by first-class mail to the address shown
in the notice to appear or to the defendant’s last known address.
If the defendant appears within the time specified in the notice
and shows good cause for the failure to appear, the Kern County
Court must vacate the assessment. If a civil assessment is
imposed, no bench warrant or arrest warrant may be issued
because of the failure to appear, and any outstanding, unserved
warrant must be recalled.
• Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of the defendant’s
failure to appear. The court must mail a courtesy warning notice
to the defendant at least ten days before sending notice to the
DMV. Until the DMV receives a certificate from the court that the
defendant has subsequently appeared or otherwise satisfied the
charge, the DMV may not issue or renew a driver’s license for
Once the CA DMV is notified of the FTA than any license in any
other state will suspend and put a "hold" on your driving privilege
until the failure to appear is resolved. We handle Mojave and
Tehachapi DUI and ticket bench warrants as well.
A vehicle owner who is not the driver also may fail to appear in
response to an unsigned owner-responsibility notice to appear, e.
g., after a citation is issued at truck scales because a vehicle is
not properly equipped or not in compliance with size, weight, or
load provisions. If the traffic offender fails to appear, deposit bail,
or plead guilty, a verified complaint must be filed that informs the
defendant that unless he or she appears in court within 21 days
from receipt and answers the charge (rather than the usual 10
days), the court may notify the California DMV to put a hold on
the vehicle’s registration or may issue an arrest warrant.
If a FTA is holding up your ability to get your drivers license we
can go to Court for you, even if you live out of state, and clear up
the mess. If you need a Mojave CA Criminal Attorney, we can
help. We handle tickets in all Kern County Courts.
Call us at 661-243-1084