Failure to Appear (FTA) in North Carolina Traffic Court
A failure to appear (FTA) is a very common issue that traffic defendants face. It carries serious consequences. If you missed a court date, you should contact an a traffic attorney immediately. This blog explores FTAs with regard to traffic law and traffic court in North Carolina.
When does a judge issue an FTA?
With regard to traffic court, FTAs are most commonly issued when a traffic defendant misses their court date. When you miss your traffic court date, the judge will almost always issue a failure to appear (FTA). While this is not the same as an Order for Arrest (OFA), it should still be taken very seriously.
What are the consequences of an FTA?
Although an FTA may not seem like a big deal to some, it can hold you back in some significant ways. If you have an FTA for a traffic violation, your driver’s license will typically be suspended. You will need to handle the FTA in order to begin resolving this issue.
Further, when you have an FTA, the underlying charge (the ticket that you originally missed court for) will not have a pending court date. It will be in limbo. You will need to hire a traffic lawyer to add you back onto the court docket. You will need to do this so that you can handle your underlying charges. This is imperative.
An FTA will also result in an additional $200 fine. Sometimes an attorney can get this FTA fine stricken. However, the policies for this vary by county. Additionally, whether or not the judge agrees to strike the FTA may depend on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your case. In other words, the judge will sometimes make the decision based on the reasons why the traffic client missed their original court date.
When else is an FTA commonly issued?
Additionally, the court will likely issue an FTA against you if you fail to pay your court costs and fines. This will occur after you have already appeared in court and handled your traffic ticket. After you (or your traffic lawyer) handle your traffic ticket, you will typically be assessed a fine as well as court costs. If you do not pay these fines and fees in the time allotted for you to pay them, the court will typically issue an FTA. Your license will likely be suspended. If this happens, you will need to resolve the matter in court.
If you have missed a court date or have been issued a Failure to Appear (FTA), you should contact a traffic lawyer as soon as possible.