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Missed Deadlines

Failure to appear or resolve a citation

Failure to appear or to resolve a citation on or before the due date may result in a DMV hold being placed on your driver's license or a warrant being issued for your arrest. Your bail may also be increased and a Civil Assessment imposed.

A DMV hold will restrict your driving privileges or ability to register a vehicle. The citation may also be referred to a collection agency for the collection of payments due. In addition, the Court may deem your failure to appear as an election to proceed with the case by trial by written declaration pursuant to Vehicle Code section 40903.

Attention: Failure to pay your fine may result in increased financial penalties and your driver's license being suspended.

Failure to Appear (40508a CVC)

Failure to appear on your scheduled court date may result in one or more of the following penalties:

  • A Civil Assessment may be imposed, and your case referred to collections;
  • A warrant may be issued for your arrest;
  • A hold may be placed on your driver's license;
  • You may be tried in absentia (in your absence).

Failure to Pay (40508b CVC)

Failure to pay any court fine may result in one of the following penalties:

  • A Civil Assessment may be imposed;
  • A hold may be placed on your driver's license;
  • Your fine may be referred for collection.

Failure to Comply (40508c CVC)

Failure to comply with a Court order may result in one or more of the following penalties:

  • A warrant may be issued;
  • A hold may be placed on your driver's license;
  • A hold may be placed on your vehicle's registration.

Civil Assessment

Pursuant to Penal Code 1214.1, ". . . the court may impose a civil assessment of $300 against any defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court for any proceeding authorized by law or who fails to pay all or any portion of a fine ordered by the court."

Acceptable good cause is defined as written proof of medical incapacitation, hospitalization, incarceration, or out-of-state military duty. Proof must be verifiable and written on appropriate letterhead stationery.

Failure to respond within 15 days of a Civil Assessment notice will result in the entry of a civil judgment and referred to collection. In addition, a request may be sent to DMV to suspend your driver's license based on your failure to appear.

To avoid these penalties, the original bail plus the civil assessment amount must be received by the Court within 15 days of the notice. Proof of correction for appropriate violations must accompany the payment to clear the case. Return the notice with your payment and any required proof of correction.

DMV Hold

When a "hold" is issued, a notice is usually mailed to you. This notice informs you that additional fees were added to the original bail amount owed. Once the Court issues a "hold" on your citation, you may not be able to register your vehicle until this issue is resolved.

The Court will remove the DMV hold once the bail/fine is paid or a court appointment is reserved.


A warrant may be issued for your arrest for failure to appear, failure to pay, or failure to comply.

Once the warrant is paid, the Court will recall the warrant to avoid an arrest. If the court appointment is not kept, then another arrest warrant, a bench warrant or a DMV "Hold" will be issued, and additional fees imposed.

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