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Traffic Tickets

Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Anyone who has faced an expensive Texas traffic citation has wondered just where does that money go? And how do all the extra fines, fees and penalties add up so quickly? Are traffic tickets simply revenue producers? For anyone who has had to break the bank for a traffic offense, understanding the breakdown of the true cost of a traffic ticket can shed light on the best method of dealing with tickets when they arise.

 

The Cost of Traffic Violations in Texas

 

Texas traffic tickets can be expensive, both in direct and indirect costs. A ticket for not having insurance could incur penalties, charges for late payment and contribute to increased insurance rates. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will also issue surcharges for driving record points and driving convictions. Under the Driver Responsibility Program, the DPS assesses the surcharges annually until the points drop off your record or for three years for a conviction. You must pay the surcharges to keep your license valid.

 

For example, you could have to pay a ticket of between $175 and $350 if the court convicts you of not having insurance. Add on another $260 per year for three years in DPS surcharges ($780), and that simple ticket will end up costing you $955 to $1,130 in fines alone, not to mention the increase in insurance rates you’ll face.

 

You’re Not Done Yet

 

Paying a traffic ticket doesn’t mean you’re done covering costs. By paying a traffic ticket, you are admitting guilt. The offense will go on your driving record and could count against you the next time you find yourself in traffic court. The same applies if you want to “sit out” your ticket by serving jail time instead of paying the fine.

 

When you consider these numerous factors, it’s easy to see why fighting your traffic ticket is often the most cost-effective way to deal with it.

 

Pay or Fight?

 

In reality, municipalities don’t profit as much as you’d think from traffic tickets. A lot of that money leaves the court’s hands as soon as you pay your ticket, headed directly to State government. Recent controversy over the use of highly lucrative red light cameras highlights this fact. For example, the city of Denton’s red light camera program netted only $668,000 from ticket revenues of $2.2 million after paying the State of Texas and the manufacturer of the red light camera technology, Redflex.

 

With only a fraction of your ticket cost going to funding for transportation improvements, fighting your ticket makes even more sense. You just have 20 business days after being issued the ticket to decide whether to pay (and admit guilt) or fight it. The good news is reviewing your case with a seasoned Dallas traffic ticket attorney can help alleviate some of your concerns. An attorney can go over the facts and circumstances of your offense and advise you on whether paying the ticket is wise. In many cases, it is a better investment of your time and money to contest the ticket. A clean driving record is worth protecting, especially in the State of Texas.

 

If you want to fight your ticket and protect your license in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to protect your license and keep your driving record clear. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

How to Reinstate a Texas Driver’s License

How to Reinstate a Texas Driver’s License

Losing your license due to a conviction or traffic citation can put a wrench in your gears. But when you’re ready to get back on the road, here’s how to reinstate your Texas driver’s license.

 

Check Eligibility

 

First, you’ll want to check your reinstatement eligibility. You can do this by using the Texas Department of Public Safety’s online portal. This should give you any balance you owe for your offense, your eligibility status and any compliance documents you need to submit during the reinstatement process.

 

Pay Fees

 

Pay all fees and surcharges owed to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). You must pay court-imposed fines to the court. You will not be able to reinstate your license until you’ve fulfilled all your financial obligations even if your suspension has ended. The offense that triggered the suspension will influence the fees you owe. The fee for the reinstatement alone is $125. You may also need to complete an SR-22 filing, which is your proof of financial responsibility. We recommend using http://www.conceptsr22.com for SR-22 insurance.

 

Submit Compliance Documents

 

After paying your fees, you will have to fill out and submit your compliance documents to the Texas DPS. You can mail or fax these or convert them to PDF and submit them via email. The specific documents you must complete will depend—in part—on the reason for your suspension. It can take up to 21 days for the DPS to process your reinstatement documents.

 

Fulfill any Additional Requirements

 

Please note these are the necessary steps for reinstating your Texas driver’s license. Depending on the reason for your suspension, you may need to complete other requirements. For example, if your license was suspended due to an alcohol or drug-related offense, you may need to complete an alcohol or drug education program. You may also have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) before you can reinstate your license.

 

Work With an Attorney for Quick and Easy Reinstatement

 

If your license is suspended, work with a Dallas-Fort Worth driver’s license defense attorney to get back on the road. If you are not eligible for reinstatement, talk to an attorney about your options. You may be able to apply for an Occupational Driver’s License so you can drive to work or school. An attorney can help you navigate the Texas DPS so you can get your driving privileges back as soon as possible.

 

If you need help getting your license back in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to get back on the road. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

The Problem With Ticket Surcharges in Texas

The Problem With Ticket Surcharges in Texas

How Much Will It Cost?

 

Fines for traffic tickets are an unexpected cost no one likes to pay. Unfortunately, the true cost of a traffic ticket in Texas doesn’t stop at the imposed fine. In addition to the court-imposed fine and court costs you will receive for a traffic ticket, the Texas Department of Public Safety may also impose a surcharge under the Driver Responsibility Program.

 

Ticket surcharges are fees you have to pay to keep your license valid. They are in addition to the initial fine for the offense. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assesses surcharges for points on your driving record and certain convictions. DPS surcharges are assessed annually for three years. On top of the assessed surcharges, you may have to pay additional service fees, and fees for payment plans (you only get one chance at a payment plan with DPS so make sure it is one that you can live with, otherwise a default will leave you with the option of paying the entire amount in full) or specific payment methods.

 

For Some, the Cost Is Too High

 

Texas ticket surcharges have been under intense scrutiny in recent years. Many argue they disproportionately affect the poor, who often rely on their licenses to get to work and make a living. Failing to pay your surcharges in full or arrange for a payment plan will result in a license suspension. So, if you can’t afford to pay your surcharges, you lose your license and potentially your livelihood. You’ll also face continued surcharges if you drive on your suspended license after that point. In this light, the surcharges perpetuate a cycle, one that is extremely hard to break without significant costs.

 

Can You Afford Ticket Surcharges in Texas?

 

The Texas Driver Responsibility Program can turn an ordinary traffic ticket into a financial burden. But for Texans working hard to make ends meet, one missed surcharge payment can put their very livelihood at risk.

Now that you know how Texas ticket surcharges work, you can easily see how one traffic ticket can end up being a costly mistake. The original fine, annual surcharges and associated fees and increased insurance rates add up quickly. The good news is you can fight your ticket in court. Speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who handles traffic ticket cases to determine whether you want to risk paying costly surcharges for years and potentially lose your license or fight your ticket. An attorney can fight your ticket in court to save your license and help you avoid ticket surcharges, in some cases for less than what your original fine was.

 

If you have a traffic ticket and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize the consequences of your ticket. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

How to Quickly Lift a Texas Warrant

How to Quickly Lift a Texas Warrant

First Steps to Deal With Your Warrant

 

Many people panic when they find out they have an outstanding warrant. Even if your warrant is for unpaid traffic tickets, police can arrest you at any time and any place.

Warrants are not easy to resolve or “lift.” While you may have many options for doing so, each of those options comes with pros and cons. You could easily choose the wrong option for your case and suffer the consequences.

In some cases, those consequences can end up costing you much more than the ticket itself. Thus, you should always work with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you have a warrant. An experienced attorney can learn about your case and lift your warrant quickly and cost-effectively. Review this basic information on lifting Texas warrants to increase the productivity of your meeting with your attorney.

 

You can lift your warrant with a number of methods.

 

Do Jail Time

 

Many people mistakenly believe doing jail time instead of paying their ticket will be the cheapest way to lift the warrant. Some people even think this is their only option if they can’t afford to pay their expensive ticket. In reality, doing jail time is the equivalent of pleading guilty to the offense. It may have the indirect result of resolving your warrant, but it doesn’t save you from the other penalties associated with the offense, and some Class C convictions have very expensive surcharges and/or suspensions associated with them.

 

Pay the Ticket

 

You can also pay your ticket to lift the warrant. But paying the ticket is also seen as a guilty plea. So, once you pay the ticket and lift the warrant, you can be subject to more penalties, including surcharges. If you fail to pay those surcharges or miss a payment, your license can be suspended.

 

Post a Cash Bond

 

Another option is to request a new court date. To do this, you may have to pay a cash bond. But this is a high-risk move. If you miss your new court date, even accidentally, you forfeit the cash bond amount and are right back to square one.

 

Hire an Attorney to Post a Surety Bond

 

The best option is to hire an attorney to post a surety bond on your behalf. This lifts the warrant and reinstates the case on the court’s docket, and you have someone knowledgeable to appear for you in court to obtain the best deal for you, which may be to have the case dismissed! Moreover, you don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to appear in court; the attorney does that for you!!

 

 

If you have a warrant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

How a Texas Traffic Ticket Can Lead to an Arrest

How a Texas Traffic Ticket Can Lead to an Arrest

An Escalating Situation

 

Many Texas traffic tickets are Class C misdemeanors, punishable by a fine of up to $500. But if you don’t pay the fine, you could face even more legal trouble. In fact, failing to pay your fine could lead to an arrest and even another criminal charge.

 

Fulfilling Your Obligation

 

If you signed your ticket, you made a promise to show up at your court date. If you don’t appear in court, the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest. The judge can charge you with failure to appear and can fine you even more. And if the judge has already issued a warrant and you appear in court, you could potentially be arrested.

 

If you want to try to pay the ticket without going to court, know that in doing so you are most likely pleading guilty to the offense and will be convicted. You may also have to pay additional fees—called surcharges—to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

 

Seek Legal Guidance for Your Texas Traffic Ticket

 

Whatever you do, don’t think paying your ticket is the most cost-effective way of handling your case before you learn about your options and the consequences. Keeping a clean driving record is more important than ever, as Texas cracks down on unsafe drivers by charging excessive surcharges. As a result, mounting tickets could result in serious penalties.

 

Don’t make the mistake of failing to address a Texas traffic ticket. If you have a ticket you need to deal with, it is worth your time to consult with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the process. This is especially important if you’ve already missed your court date. An attorney can explain what could happen if you don’t appear in court or pay your fine and help you identify the most efficient way to clear your name. Often, a seasoned attorney will know how to step in immediately and take control of your case to prevent your arrest and minimize the consequences of your ticket. That may involve going to court to fight the ticket for you so you don’t have to take time off from work or your other responsibilities.

 

If you need help dealing with an outstanding traffic ticket in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.