Question: TBD Statement must be received by Due Date: When I contest, does my Trial by Declaration have to be postmarked by the due date or received by the due date?
Answer: RECEIVED. Be sure never to be late on a court TBD deadline. At minimum, you will be found guilty of the original charge. Also, the court might add a $250 fine for a Failure to Appear (FTA). However, most courts will just find you guilty and keep your bail as the fine.
I might have already made this important point but it bears repeating: ___DO NOT miss any deadlines.___ Although the court can string you along as much as they want, that luxury is not extended to you. When you get something from the court, it will have a deadline on it, and you can’t miss that deadline or you lose your case. If you blow past one deadline, that’s it. You lose everything. You can file for extensions if you need more time, but do not miss any deadlines imposed by the court. (Also, send everything to the court by CERTIFIED MAIL with the return receipt for proof – especially now, when they will be hip-deep in backed-up paperwork.)
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