It happens to the best of us. We get a traffic ticket and mean to pay the fines and take care of it, but then life happens, and we forget. What are the consequences and where do you go from here? Most likely the consequences won’t be very serious, depending on how far you have passed the deadline. The longer you wait, the worse the consequences are, so take steps to resolve the issue as soon as you remember.
When you are first issued the traffic ticket, there are usually three options. First, you can just pay the ticket and have it on your insurance record. The second option is to pay the ticket and attend a traffic school, which stop the ticket from affecting your insurance. The third and final option is to fight the ticket. These options may all still be available to you, but it really depends on when it was due.
Call and Ask
As soon as you realize you have missed your ticket deadline, you need to call and ask what your options are at this point. Contact the presiding traffic court for this information. This is the local police department in the city where you received the ticket, the county sheriff’s department, or the office for the highway patrol. If you don’t know, the best strategy is to start with the lowest court and work your way up.
Don’t Start with a Bad Excuse
Forgetting a ticket is more common than you think. The last thing the person helping wants to hear is that you lost the ticket or didn’t know there was a deadline. If you have lost your ticket, the government doesn’t usually accept that as an excuse.
They have all tickets recorded digitally and you can always call in and ask for more information. Each ticket has specific information that is unique to that ticket. Some details on a ticket list if you are expected to appear in court, so not knowing is not a good excuse either. The state just wants you to pay for your ticket and move along.
Know Your Strategy
If you are going to plead guilty and just pay the fine, you might have a higher fee to pay if you are very overdue. The option to take a traffic school course may be off the table if you are too over the due date. Paying Dallas traffic tickets at face value can result in a conviction or Class C Misdemeanors.
If your original plan was to contest the ticket, your options to do it may also be limited as more time passes. If you were given a court date on your ticket, you may not be able to contest a ticket because you had to have made that petition in the court first.
Warrants can be issued if you are overdue on your traffic ticket fines. If you hope to fight the ticket or fight the charges against you, one of your best strategies is to hire a great criminal defense attorney who specializes in dealing with traffic tickets. Not only do they know how the system works, but they can often get better results for you with their knowledge and connections.
If you need help fighting an overdue traffic ticket, or a new traffic ticket, give us a call. We are always happy to look over your case, help with bonding your warrants, and get your case heard in court. Let us help you put these mistakes behind you.