What happens if you fail to pay for a traffic ticket fine after pleading guilty? Well, the court adds charges to the case like Vehicle Code 40508(b).
California Vehicle Code sections 40508b and Veh. Code 40508a are different. VC40508(a) is a misdemeanor crime defined as “Failure to Appear”. The “B” Version, VC40508(b) is a misdemeanor crime defined as a “Failure to Make Fine Payments” on time (Failure to Pay).
Both of these violations are real crimes that carry a jail sentence as a possible consequence. Simply missing a fine payment or showing up late for a court can lead to a new misdemeanor charge under one of these code sections.
But one big difference is that a VC 40508(b) Failure to Pay violation is usually only added after the defendant has been convicted. Unlike a Failure to Appear charge, it usually means the case is over.
When a court adds a VC40508a or 40508b charge to a case, they usually also notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of the failure to appear or pay, and then DMV suspends the defendant’s drivers license based on that notice. This notice, and the suspension, is known as a VC 40509.5 suspension.
When there is a Vehicle Code 40508(a) or (b) charge, the court may also issue a warrant.
If you cannot pay a fine, it is always better to go into court in person early and ask for more time. Do not wait until the deadline passes.
Once in court, you can ask the judge for more time or an adjustment. Chances are the judge will respect your efforts to get it done without causing the court a problem and will grant your request.
If you have a failure to appear problem or bench warrant, request a Free Attorney Case Review and let us show you why it makes sense to have help.