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What if you don’t appear in court for your traffic ticket?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2024 | Traffic tickets

If you decide to contest a traffic ticket and fail to show up in court, it can lead to serious undesirable consequences. You may end up dealing with a host of legal and financial penalties, potentially worsening the initial citation. Here is more on the law in North Carolina.

When you miss your court date, the court will mark your case as ‘called and failed’ and issue a Failure to Appear (FTA) notice after 20 days. If you are found guilty, you will have to pay an FTA fee, separate from the potential fines and court fees. 

Should 20 days pass after the issuance of the FTA notice and you still haven’t appeared in court or resolved your case, the court will notify the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle of your failure to appear. This could see your driver’s license revoked indefinitely until you settle your case with the court. 

In some cases, the court may issue a warrant of arrest against you on top of the FTA notice. You could also lose your bond when you ignore your court date if you were arrested and released on bond.

Understand your options

It helps to note that court dates are not set in stone. You may request a reschedule of your case to a more preferable date instead of failing to show up inexplicably. Additionally, you can avoid some of these consequences by providing valid reasons to the judge for skipping court. For instance, you can present evidence of a medical emergency or conflicting obligation that necessitated your absence.

Reaching out for legal guidance can help you navigate the legal procedures involved in such cases, understand your options and protect your interests. It can go a long way in mitigating the repercussions that may follow after failing to appear in court.