A willful failure to pay bail in installments as agreed under VC §40510.5 or
a fine within the time ordered without a lawful excuse before the due date is a misdemeanor even if the bail or fine is paid in full after that time. The failure to pay on time is punishable by a base fine up to $1000 with a restitution fine of up to $1000, and/or by up to six months in jail. [PC §1202.4(b)(1); VC §§40000.25, 40508(b).] You may elect to charge and try the failure to pay as an infraction unless the defendant requests that the case proceed as a misdemeanor. [PC §§17(d), 19.8(a).] A late charge in the amount of 50 percent of the total initial penalty is due for any fine that is not paid within 20 days after notice of the penalty assessment is mailed. [VC §40310.]
In addition, you may impose a civil assessment of up to $300. [PC §1214.1(a).] The assessment does not take effect until at least 10 calendar days after the court mails a warning notice to the defendant by first-class mail to the address shown on the notice to appear or to the defendant’s last known address. If the defendant appears within the time specified in the notice and shows good cause for the failure to pay the fine, you must vacate the assessment. [PC §1214.1(b).]
Amnesty program. A one-time amnesty program exists until June 30, 2012 for payment of fines and bail for infractions that meet specified eligibility requirements. [VC §42008.7.] To qualify, the defendant must pay 50 percent of the delinquent bail amount and fine balance in full satisfaction of the debt, and must meet all of the following summarized requirements:
- The violation is an infraction (or a violation for failure to appear or pay is added to the underlying infraction case);
- The payment of the bail or fine was due on or before January 1, 2009;
- The defendant does not owe restitution; and
- There are no outstanding misdemeanors or felony warrants for the defendant within the county where the violation was issued.