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What Happens if I Miss My Traffic Trial Date?

Posted by Robert Berglund | Jul 15, 2022

If you want to fight your ticket, the first step is to schedule an arraignment date.  When you appear in traffic court on this date you will enter a "not guilty" plea.  The traffic court judge will then schedule a trial.  You will be ordered to appear on this date.  If you fail to appear, there are a couple of things that could happen.

Trial in Absentia

Some traffic courts will hold a "trial in absentia" if the officer is present but you are not.  This means that the officer will testify about the ticket that he issued and the traffic court judge will then find you guilty.  This will all be done without you being in court.  At the arraignment, when you were present, you should have been informed that a "trial in absentia" will be held if you fail to appear as scheduled.

Failure to Appear

Other traffic courts will charge you with a Failure to Appear ("FTA") if you miss the trial date.  This will be a new charge added to the violation(s) in which you were already cited.  This is not as harsh as a "trial in absentia" because you can still appear at the traffic clerk's office in the future and reschedule the trial.  However, you will have the new FTA charge against you now.  Also, the FTA for missing trial is reported to the DMV which will result in your driver's license being suspended.

Contact a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Now

If you missed your traffic trial date you should immediately consult with a good Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney.  Call us today at (877) 667-1205 or submit our CONTACT form for a free and confidential consultation. 

About the Author

Robert Berglund

Attorney Robert D. Berglund is dedicated to handling any and all traffic violations, including traffic infraction tickets, as well as misdemeanor criminal traffic violations, such as driving under the influence (DUI), driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving.


Our office specializes in representing individuals facing traffic violations. We represent our clients in both court and at DMV hearings. Your case will be handled with the personalized attention and expertise that it deserves.

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There is no charge for the phone consultation. Our office specializes in representing individuals facing traffic violations. Attorney Robert D. Berglund will personally speak with you about your case and provide you with an honest analysis. Contact us today.