What will happen if I fail to pay my traffic fines? 7 Answers as of May 19, 2011

Received a ticket for driving on suspended license in 2005 in which I failed to appear in court for. In 2007 got pulled over and arrested with a new court date in which I also failed to appear in court for. I again got pulled over in 2010 with a new court date to appear and did appear in front of the judge where I was ordered a $1500 fine with 2 years probation and the offense was a misdemeanor. I had 1 year to pay the fine but the fine was never paid as I lived in a different state. There is a warrant now for that and I went to the courthouse to pay the fine but was told that I would have to see the judge. What are my possible outcomes when I attend? I thought this was clear as I went to the traffic division window and asked how much the fine was and they told me it was all clear and I asked for a print out and they said they could not give one out and the only way I could receive my record was through the DMV in which I obtained. Any help is much appreciated!

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
An arrest warrant will be issued for any failure to comply with court orders. Youve already been through this before, and repeatedly ignored the courts orders, so this time there is a no bail warrant to force you before the judge. For you to handle this, you must turn yourself into the court, with or without an attorney, and try to negotiate a plea bargain on the warrant and newest Failure to Appear charges, and negotiate any outstanding charges. Doing so voluntarily will result in a better outcome than you being brought in cuffs to court after arrest on the warrant. Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail/prison, or at least dramatically reduce it. If this is a misdemeanor, the attorney can appear in court without the defendant being present, and any plea bargain deal could be handled by notarized paperwork. Any fines could be paid by mail. Jail time, if any, would create an obvious problem requiring the defendants presence. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/19/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Warrants can only be recalled by an appearance before a judge. At that time, there is always the possibility that you could be taken in to custody if you get a judge who is offended by your failure to comply. However, a good attorney can probably prevent this from happening. But keep in mind that a few days in jail would probably be enough to wipe out your fines and get this finished once and for all.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
There is always the possibility that you can do jail time. I would recommend contacting an attorney to assist you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
First of all, driving on a suspended license is not just a "traffic" offense; it is a misdemeanor. Give that you have so many FTA's and the case(s) are so old, there is a high likelihood that the Judge will either ask you to pay everything on the spot of take you in custody. Consider having a lawyer go to court without you to recall any outstanding warrant(s) and set a new compliance date. Seriously, just put yourself in the Judge's shoes, what would you do if some guy shows up with fines that are years past due and several warrants outstanding?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2011
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
Anytime fail to appear in court as ordered a warrant is issued for your arrest. In addition, the DMV will place a hold on your license until you clear it up. If you are caught driving during that time, it is a new misdemeanor violation for driving on a suspended license. Based on your questions, it sounds as though you have a few driving on a suspended license violation. This is not good and can potentially land you in jail. At this point, I would caution you against going into court without a lawyer representing you. Given your history of failing to appear in court and failing to pay your fines, it is entirely possible that a judge may take you into custody. Your best chance of obtaining the best possible result for you situation is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. If you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, I would be happy to do so. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/18/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Failure to pay a fine can result in the loss of driving privileges and and an arrest. Schedule a court appearance as soon as possible and show up with a check for as much of the fine as is possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/18/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    There could be a warrant out for your arrest and/or a hold on your license when you try to renew it. It depends on the court involved. If it was a misdemeanor there is surely a warrant out. Since you seem to have so much problem with this you might want to hire a lawyer to help you straighten it out or else one day the police will stop you, find the warrant and arrest you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/18/2011
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