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Traffic Tickets in California: Can You Go to Jail?

California is known for its strict traffic laws, and its penalties for traffic violations can be severe. It is common for people to receive traffic tickets while driving in California, and these tickets can come with hefty fines. While most people know that they could face fines for not paying a traffic ticket, many are unaware of the consequences of not paying them. So, can you go to jail for not paying for traffic tickets in California?

The answer is yes, you can. According to California law, failing to pay a traffic ticket can result in your license being suspended and even jail time. 

It is important to note that the potential consequences of not paying traffic tickets vary depending on the severity of the violation. For example, if caught driving under the influence, you may face more serious consequences than if caught speeding.

How to Handle Tickets

The best way to handle a traffic ticket is to pay it in full. However, if you cannot do so, you can work out an agreement with the court. This could include a payment plan or community service instead of a fine. It is important to remember that the court has the final say in how much you owe and the consequences of not paying. If you do not comply with the court’s orders, you could face hefty fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay a Traffic Ticket in California?

Failing to take care of California traffic violations can have serious consequences. Unpaid tickets can come with extra fees. Prior to 2017, not paying the fine could result in your driver’s license being revoked or suspended without warning. This practice was ended when the governor signed a new law in June 2017.

If you don’t pay your traffic ticket in California, you may end up facing serious consequences such as a suspended license or even jail time. The DMV will no longer take care of the issue, so it is important to take care of it yourself to avoid any potential legal trouble.

How To Handle Unpaid Traffic Tickets in California

  • Pay the ticket: The easiest way to handle an unpaid traffic ticket in California is to simply pay it. You can do this online, by mail, or in person. The payment must be received by the deadline listed on the ticket.
  • Request a hearing: If you feel the ticket was issued in error, you can request a hearing to dispute the ticket. You must contact the court and request a hearing within 15 days of receiving the ticket.
  • Request a traffic school: If you are eligible, you may be able to attend traffic school to have your ticket dismissed. To do this, you must contact the court and request traffic school.
  • Request community service: If you cannot pay for the ticket or attend traffic school, you may be able to request community service as an alternative to paying for the ticket. This must be requested from the court.

The Bottomline

Not paying a traffic ticket in California can lead to serious consequences. If you do not take care of the ticket within the allotted time frame, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Additionally, the state can suspend your license, place a hold on your vehicle registration, or transfer the ticket to a collections agency. Therefore, it is important to take care of your traffic tickets as soon as possible in order to avoid potential jail time.

Mr.Ticket has a team of traffic lawyers in LA. We provide aggressive representation to clients in LA and across California who received traffic tickets. Get in touch with us. 

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