Those people in Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving may find themselves quite surprised—and not in a good way—to find there is a City of Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington or Irving warrant with their name on it. We’ve all done it — you receive a ticket for a minor traffic offense and stick it in a drawer, intending to pay it later or perhaps go to court and plead your case. Next thing you know, time has passed and you neglected to pay the ticket, or didn’t show up in court as promised. Occasionally people will deliberately ignore a traffic ticket they felt they did not deserve, but generally tickets are simply forgotten about. Many people don’t even realize that by neglecting a minor traffic ticket they could end up with a warrant for their arrest. Old tickets, unfortunately, don’t just ride off into the sunset because you’ve forgotten to deal with them, and eventually this act of forgetfulness or neglect will come back to haunt you. Understand why you shouldn’t pay old tickets with our qualified criminal defense professionals.
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That time may be right around the corner during the Great Texas Warrant Roundup. There is a “grace” period of a couple of weeks when all those with warrants for their arrest are strongly encouraged by Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving law enforcement to come in, pay your outstanding fines and get rid of the threat of arrest. During this time, attempts will be made to notify those with outstanding warrants through phone calls, mailed notices or notices left on front doors. Once the grace period has expired, the enforcement phase begins, meaning law enforcement personnel will begin actively arresting those who have neglected to take care of their warrant and outstanding fines. The press releases issued regarding the Texas Warrant Roundup are certainly meant to encourage you to get to the courthouse as quickly as possible and pay your ticket(s). Before you do so, you should be aware that—with the exception of getting arrested—this could be the worst thing you could possibly do.
How to Avoid Getting Arrested
Of course no one wants to be arrested, since it is bound to be a humiliating experience under the best of circumstances. Should the police set out to arrest you, they will not care where you are or what you are doing at the time. You could be at work, surrounded by co-workers or even your boss, when the police march in and lead you away in handcuffs. Needless to say, an event such as this could cause serious repercussions in your place of employment. You could be arrested in your home as you are having a quiet dinner with your family, while all your neighbors look on. Although it is not especially likely, you can even be arrested while standing in line to pay your fines. For all of these reasons and more, you want to ensure first and foremost that you will not be arrested for your unpaid traffic tickets or missed court date. There are, however, better ways of handling the situation of your City of Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington or Irving warrant.
Protecting Your Driving Record
Many people do not realize the effect your Texas driving record has on many other issues or how important it is to keep your driving record as squeaky clean as possible. One thing you can do to protect your record is to take advantage of the option you have to attend driving school when you receive a traffic violation. You are allowed to do this once per year, and it will keep the points from your traffic violation from going on your record. If you have decided to pay your Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington or Irving traffic tickets, you should know how that act will negatively impact your driving record.
Paying a ticket, in essence, convicts you of the crime you were charged with, and although it may be hard to believe, traffic violations are considered criminal offenses. True, they are only Class C misdemeanors, but criminal nonetheless. Whenever you are in any type of traffic accident, or are convicted of a traffic ticket (by paying the ticket) it goes onto your driving record. The state of Texas uses your record to track violations and accidents—and to refuse to renew your driver’s license should your points accrue to a certain level. Remember, by attending one defensive driving or traffic safety course you can have one traffic ticket per year dismissed, and the points for that offense will not be added to your driving record. The record will, however, reflect that you successfully completed the defensive driving course.
Watch Your Insurance Rates Increase Dramatically
Insurance companies periodically take a look at your driving record in order to determine if you are still a good auto insurance risk. They will look to see how many moving violations you’ve had as well as how many accidents over the past year. Once they decide what kind of risk they believe you are, based on these factors, they will charge you accordingly. In some cases, if your insurance company sees a particularly high number of violations or traffic collisions they may decide you are not a risk they want to take and drop your insurance completely.
If your insurance company doesn’t immediately drop you, they may raise your rates by 20%–or much more. Once you are dropped by an insurance company you will have a very difficult time finding another company who will insure you, and when and if you finally do, you will pay an incredibly high premium for the privilege. All insurance companies have different ways of handling points on your record however you can almost bank on the fact that eventually your points will be discovered and your rates will dramatically increase for a long time to come.
How Those Points on Your Driving Record Impact You
Each conviction you receive for a Dallas traffic offense brings you a specific number of points which go onto your driving record. A Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington or Irving traffic ticket which has gone unnoticed and unpaid and resulted in a warrant for your arrest will definitely result in points on your record as soon as you write a check for your past fines. Most moving violations result in two points while those which result in an accident will get you three points. If you received a Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington or Irving speeding ticket which was for a speed less than 10% above the posted speed limit—and it was not in a school zone—then you won’t receive any points, nor will you receive points when you attend a defensive driving school and the ticket is dismissed. If you are unlucky enough to accrue six points within a three-year periods, you will also be subject to DPS surcharges.
Why DPS Surcharges Can Be a Financial Disaster
Once you’ve reached the six-point limit on your driving record, the state of Texas will require you to pay surcharges for a minimum of the next three years. These fees start at $100, and can increase by $25 for each point above six that you receive. Those who receive a Failure to Provide Financial Responsibility ticket will be hit with a $250 surcharge each year for the next three years. Don’t even think of not paying these surcharges—if they are not paid your driver’s license can be suspended, causing even more problems and more fines.
There are certain vendors who are allowed by the state to collect these surcharge fees for Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving, and they are also allowed to charge you a variety of service fees in addition to the surcharges you are paying. Paying your old tickets may actually cause your bank account to deplete at an alarming rate for many years to come. The attorneys of Bobbitt Law will determine whether negotiating a plea or perhaps even attempting to get the original traffic charges dropped will be to your advantage, and will do their best to eliminate those surcharges altogether.
Convictions Can Result in Your Driver’s License Being Suspended
Those who have paid four or more moving violations during a twelve-month period could find their license suspended in very short order. If you ignore the suspension, drive—and get caught—the suspension may be extended for an even longer period of time, and you find yourself charged with yet another misdemeanor charge which could actually result in up to six months in jail. It can be quite inconvenient not to have a driver’s license. Most of us spend a good portion of our days driving to and from work, taking the kids to school, going to the grocery store, to church, to the bank as well as running many other errands. Once again, paying those old tickets could cause you significant grief, while consulting a Bobbitt Law attorney will allow you to discuss your options other than paying your tickets to lift the warrant.
Many people hold a CDL or commercial driver’s license, and depend on that license for their employment. CDL license holders are typically held to a much higher standard than those with a regular license. This means that should a CDL holder be convicted of speeding—meaning they received a speeding ticket and paid it—they will suffer additional consequences. Speeding tickets are required to be reported to employers within one month, even if the driver was driving their own personal vehicle when they received the speeding ticket. Any moving violation must be reported, and in some states convictions of speeding over 15 mph above the speed limit, reckless driving, following too closely or improper lane changes can result in a loss of the CDL license. Paying your old tickets will not only lighten your wallet, they can significantly impact your employment as well.
Before You Pay Those Tickets, Call Bobbitt Law
As you can see, there are a great number of reasons you should not rush down and pay your traffic fines simply to lift the warrant for your arrest. While the threat of arrest—or the ads on the radio—may convince you that paying the ticket is the best thing to do, there are few valid reasons to write out that check, hoping to put the matter behind you. Our American legal system offers a great way to quash the warrant for your arrest without paying your fines and suffering the litany of hidden penalties. This is known as posting a bond, and the attorneys of Bobbitt Law will be happy to post a bond on your behalf, suspending the City of Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington or Irving warrant for your arrest. You may then receive a new court date and will be given the opportunity to effectively “start over,” pleading your case to the judge with our attorney by your side. Don’t be scared into paying your fines and being convicted of a crime. Call Bobbitt Law today to protect your rights and your future.
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