Will I go to jail for a traffic misdemeanor? 9 Answers as of May 04, 2011

In January 2010 I was given a ticket for false tags for a car I bought as is not knowing it had false tags. I did not go to court and was given a warrant. What are the likely punishment when I do show up to court? Any jail time?

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Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Probably not. However, you can get arrested any time on the outstanding warrant. You need to contact an attorney ASAP to go to court with you, get the warrant recalled, and resolve the case. Feel free to call if you're in San Diego. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/4/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
You now have two charges against you. Each charge carries up to one year in jail. Go to court as soon as possible. It will up to the judge. An attorney will help greatly. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/4/2011
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Sounds like you have a defense, go to court and have the warrant recalled.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/4/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Any punishment you get will be based on the failure to appear, not on the stupid traffic nonsense if you can establish that those plates were on the car when you bought it. Next time you buy a car check the plates.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/3/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
Calendar your case. Show up with a good excuse. The warrant should be recalled and quashed. Then, fight that bogus case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Possibly. Considering hiring a lawyer to go to court for your (without you) to recall the warrant. The advantage is obvious; if you're not there, the Judge can't take you in custody, at least not right then and there. Then the attorney can proceed to try to reduce the misdemeanor to an infraction, which won't hurt you in background checks.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Your failure to appear after receiving such an offense can be troublesome. You need an attorney to fully protect you. Typically most traffic matters do not warrant jail. Misdemeanors like yours can possibly lead to harsher consequences. Get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes, when charged with a misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 6-12 months in jail. You also now have an additional misdemeanor charge of failure to appear - the warrant.

    No attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, reports, testimony, priors history, etc. However, effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict.

    If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, program, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    Most misdemeanors carry a maximum of 6 months to 1 year in jail. It would be better to hire an attorney to go to court on your behalf and either prepare a defense to have the matter dismissed or to negotiate a favorable settlement. Ignoring the case will only create more problems as you will likely be charged with an additional misdemeanor charge of 'failure to appear.'
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/3/2011
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