I Didn’t Bother Paying a Traffic Ticket Fine– Could I be Arrested?
Some people think that getting a traffic ticket for some offenses is trivial and may delay doing anything about it or ignore it altogether. If you are traveling out of your home state, you may think that you can get away with not paying a fine.
The chances are that for many traffic violations a failure to pay a fine straight away or within the specified time period would not mean that you would be arrested. Just because you were given a traffic ticket doesn’t mean you have to pay a fine, anyway, as long as you follow the state’s established procedure. In most cases, you can either admit guilt and pay the fine or fight the ticket. If you do the latter, it’s not a smart move just to ignore the ticket or leave the state without dealing with it. In many cases, if you do decide to fight the ticket, there is a good chance that you could be let off.
The down side is that you may need to attend a court appearance, possibly more than one and this is often the reason why a failure to pay a fine spirals into something more serious when the person given the ticket can’t or won’t find time to attend court when this has been scheduled or can’t or won’t use a traffic ticket attorney to fight the ticket on their behalf.
The reason why fighting a ticket is often the best option is that normally the police officer who handed you the citation is expected to turn up in court. If there is a no show, then the case against you is dismissed. If you appoint an attorney to represent you, then the cost of doing so could be justified by the savings you make in the long run if the case is dismissed. Even if a police officer does show up, he/ she may not remember the exact circumstances and the details can easily be challenged.
Of course there is no guarantee that fighting a ticket means you get off the charge, so it is sensible to talk to an attorney before making a decision.
The consequences of not paying the ticket fine, or fail to submit a plea in time, or leave the state without responding to the ticket, there are various consequences, depending on the nature of the violation. It is possible that the fine is just increased. This could happen a couple of times before more serious action is taken. If it is a moving violation, like speeding or running a red light, your driver license could be suspended. If this happens and you ignore the suspension and continue to drive, then this could have much more serious consequences. It would be considered a criminal offense and you could be arrested if you are stopped by a police officer.
In some situations, especially after non attendance at a traffic court appearance or failure to pay a fine after several reminders or requests, the city or county could issue an order for your arrest. Police officers could then arrest you for not paying a fine. This is a misdemeanor offense and you could end up paying an additional fine and possibly be landed with a jail sentence of up to 60 days.
It’s not worth risking a criminal conviction
Even if you think your traffic violation was trivial, it is best to either pay the fine or fight it. The financial benefits of winning a court case over a traffic violation usually outweigh the costs. The most expensive part of admitting to a traffic violation is not the fine as such, but the extra insurance costs next time your premium comes up for renewal. If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense because you have ignored the ticket and request to pay a fine, the most serious consequences are the conviction itself and the long term effects this could have on your job, career and family.
See Albert Quirantes Esq. if you wish to fight a ticket
Renowned Miami traffic ticket attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq. is available to defend you against any traffic ticket violation or criminal charge laid against you. You can contact him at at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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