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Can I Go to Jail for Failing to Pay My Debts in California?

Two people holding hands as they're are separated by prison bars.

Can you go to jail for failing to pay your debts in California? It’s a common question. The answer, unfortunately, is maybe.

Can Debtors Be Sent to Jail for Failing to Pay Debts in California?

Contrary to popular belief, in California debtors cannot be arrested or sent to jail for failing to pay their debts. Regulated by California state laws, any form of debt-related incarceration is illegal, and creditors are only allowed to seek civil remedies, which can include filing a civil lawsuit against debtors who have failed to pay their debts.

What Happens if Debtors Don’t Show Up for Civil Court Hearings Regarding Unpaid Debts?

It is important to take any summons and complaint you receive seriously, as failing to appear for a court hearing regarding unpaid debts can result in the court issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. This warrant will allow law enforcement officers anywhere in the state to take you into custody, so it is best to make sure that you attend the court hearing when ordered to do so. Your lawyer can provide you with more information about this subject and other legal matters related to civil court hearings and debt collection in California.

Speak with Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys in Santa Barbara for Free Today

If you are facing criminal charges because you failed to appear for a civil court hearing in California, it is essential to act quickly. Failing to do so could mean facing jail time, fines, and other costly legal penalties.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Appel & Morse have been helping people facing criminal charges in California defend their rights and clear their names for years. We can provide you with trusted guidance throughout the entire legal process. With the help of our reliable attorneys’ expertise and experience, you may be able to reduce the severity of any charges against you, or even have them completely dismissed. Don't accept potential consequences without knowing your options. Contact our criminal defense team in Santa Barbara today.

For more information about what to do if you’re charged with a crime or arrested in California, to talk to our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Santa Barbara about your situation, call us at (805) 467-6060 or get in touch with us online today for a free consultation.

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