What is Failure to Appear?
According to the Washington State RCW 46.63.073: Any person who receives a notice of traffic infraction shall respond to such notice within fifteen days of the date of the notice. Failure to Appear means that you have failed to respond to the the traffic infraction within the 15 day allotted time period. When you receive a traffic citation, you are required to respond to the court within 15 days from the date of the infraction, and those 15 day are calendar days, not business days.
You are required to let the court know your intentions of how you want to handle the traffic ticket. There are 3 options on the ticket that you have to choose from to let the court know your intentions of handling the ticket. Option one, or box 1, is to respond to the ticket admitting guilt of the infraction and paying the fine. Option two, or box 2, is requesting a mitigation hearing. A mitigation hearing is admitting guilt of the infraction, but you would like to explain the circumstances in hopes the judge will reduce the fine. If option two is selected the court will assign a court date for the mitigation hearing and you will be required to attend the hearing. Option three, or box 3, is requesting a contested hearing. You are wanting to challenge the traffic ticket. The court will assign a contested hearing court date and you are required to attend the hearing.
A FTA Status, or failure to appear, on your ticket means that you have not responded to the traffic violation within a timely matter. The Washington State Department of Licensing can suspend all driving privileges if they receive notice from the court that a person has failed to respond, failed to appear at a requested hearing, or violated a written promise to appear in court for the infraction per RCW 46.20.289.
How Long is my License Suspended or Revoked
Your license can be suspended for failure to appear. A suspension of your license does not have a specific time frame, it can be suspended until you pay the fine or comply with the requirement to appear in court. Once you have satisfied your requirements, the court will notify the Washington State Department of Licensing that the matter has been resolved by issuing a certificate of adjudication. The Washington State Department of Licensing will then update your driving record to show that the FTA status has been cleared.
If you want to reinstate your driving privileges there are a couple of steps that you will be required to take. You will be required to apply for a new license. There will be a reissue fee assigned along with licensing fees that will be assessed. If the original charge for the infraction was not drug or alcohol related the reissue fee is $75.00 plus additional licensing fees. If the original charge for the infraction was drug or alcohol related the reissue fee is $150.00 plus additional licensing fees.
Give us a Call
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of receiving a traffic infraction, please don’t hesitate to give Rick a call. He is an experienced traffic attorney and has been handling traffic violation cases since 1992.
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Image Credit: Alice in Wonderland by Russ Sanderlin on Flickr