If You Owe Fines, Here's Why You Should Pay Them

If You Owe Fines, Here’s Why You Should Pay Them

June 16, 2020

Many of us have experienced the frustration of getting a fine at the least convenient time, which tempts many people to put off paying them until they’re in a better financial situation. What happens if you don’t pay your debts and fines in Lubbock, TX?

Unfortunately, when it comes to traffic tickets, putting off paying will not only not make the problem go away, but you could lose your license or have a warrant issued for your arrest. Ultimately, it’s best to address the ticket as soon as humanly possible, lest you make the consequences a lot worse for yourself.

What to do when you get a traffic ticket

You have two main options when you get a traffic ticket. First, you can simply pay the fine, which waives your right to contest the charges in traffic court. Your car insurance rates may go up, and the DMV may choose to suspend your license, depending on the situation. This is an admission of guilt, so if you pay the fine, you are essentially admitting that you committed the violation (whether or not you think it was fair or your fault).

Second, you can contest the ticket in traffic court. You can either choose a mitigation hearing, which is also an admission of guilt—but offers the opportunity to reduce your fines or get on a payment plan—or attend a contested hearing, where you can represent yourself or bring an attorney to argue that you’re not guilty of the traffic violation.

Depending on where you get the ticket, you may see “points” on your driving record, which result in the suspension or revocation of a license when a certain number is acquired. Most states will allow you to attend traffic school to help mitigate this situation.

What happens if you don’t pay your fines?

Ignoring a traffic ticket won’t make it go away—you need to be sure to pay it right away, especially if you have more than one ticket outstanding. The police can clamp your wheels (commonly known as installing a “boot”) and issue additional tickets the longer you let your original violation go unaddressed. Eventually your local law enforcement may put out a warrant for your arrest due to your failure to appear in court, which means the next time you run a red light, you could be thrown in jail.

Unpaid tickets are also a good way to get your license suspended—after all, a condition of having a driver’s license is your agreement to pay fines and obey all traffic laws. There’s no sense in losing your driving privileges or being thrown in jail, particularly when courts will work with you to help you pay the ticket. Sometimes mitigation hearings will even offer community service as an option, if you can’t afford to pay the debt.

Have you been dealing with debt from not paying fines in Lubbock, TX? Let The Law Office of Rob Biggers help when you call us to schedule a consultation today.

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