If you were fined after committing a crime, it is important that you pay those fines in full and on time. A failure to do so could open you up to further fines or criminal charges, which could make matters worse for both your legal and financial situations.
Under Texas’s Failure to Appear/Failure to Pay program, the Department of Public Safety may also deny the renewal of your driver’s license if you did not appear for a citation or pay off the fine that was issued with your legal judgment. It is likely your license will be denied renewal until you have met your financial obligations and cleared your standing with the courts.
Here’s an overview of what you should know about paying fines in Texas and clearing your standing in the eyes of the court.
Connecting with the court
It is important to stay in regular communication with the court. You can contact the court directly to confirm the amount of money you have been fined, as well as the amount you still owe to satisfy your full legal responsibility. You can also contact the court to verify whether you are required to make a court appearance, or to request a trial if you wish to contest the charges and thus nullify your requirement to pay.
This can get complicated depending on the circumstances of your crime or violation. If that violation was reported to the Department of Public Safety by multiple courts, you will be responsible for contacting each of those reporting courts.
For more information about how to get in touch with the courts, to check the status of your offense or to view a list of common questions, you can visit the Department’s Failure to Appear web page, or call Omnibase Services at 1-800-686-0570.
Driver records and eligibility
You may also wish to verify your driver records and eligibility if you were required to pay a fine.
Note that it will likely take several business days for your driver record to be updated after the information gets reported to the Department of Public Safety by the court. You will need to have all offenses cleared before the driver record will show you to be in compliance, and thus eligible for driving and renewing your license.
To check the status of your eligibility, you can visit the License Eligibility webpage maintained by the Department of Public Safety. This page has plenty of information about exactly what steps you will need to take to reinstate your driver’s license and driving privileges, and the fees you still owe as part of your judgment. After you’ve paid off your debts and have passed any mandatory suspension period, you will notice your driver eligibility status updated on the website to read that you are now “eligible.”
To learn more about how to pay fines in Texas and what you need to know about potential penalties and consequences associated with being late in paying your fines, contact an experienced attorney at The Law Office of Rob Biggers today.
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Categorised in: General Legal Questions