Q: If I forget to pay a traffic ticket, can I go to jail?
A: If you miss a mandatory court date, the court can and likely will issue a bench warrant. If you fail to pay a non-mandatory court citation by the due date, they will likely issue a default judgment against you and can hold you in contempt if you fail to pay by a certain time. Your best bet is to call the court and ask what the staus of your case is, or have an attorney do it for you.
In Colorado, there are two types of traffic tickets: 1. Criminal and 2. Civil Traffic Infractions.
If a person's ticket is for a criminal charge -- such as Careless Driving or No Proof of Insurance, then an arrest warrant will be issued if the person Fails to Appear (FTA) in court. If the person is located by police, they will generally be taken into custody (arrested) and made to post a bond amount at the jail for the arrest warrant.
If the ticket is for a Civil Traffic Infraction (CTI) violation -- such as minor speeding or running a stop light, then a Default will be entered by the Court if the person fails to appear for the court date. No arrest warrant will be issued, because it is a civil case rather than a criminal case; yet, the default fine amount is then sent to collections and the person's driver's license will be suspended unless the default amount is paid.
I hope this answers your question!
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