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I Was Arrested for Unpaid Parking and Speeding Tickets: Fines, Penalties, Costs, and Sentencing


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It is important to realize that drivers have the responsibility to take care of any moving violation ticket they receive. Younger drivers in particular expect further communication from the court or law enforcement agency issuing the ticket. This rarely occurs; the ticket itself serves as notice of your responsibility. Your signature on the ticket indicates your acceptance of responsibility for handling it.

Parking tickets have a bit more leeway, due to the ticket going to the car's owner, not the driver. If the ticket is not paid by the due date, the vehicle's owner receives notice that payment is due.

When you receive a ticket for a speeding or parking violation, the ticket should have all relevant information printed on it, including the amount owed, the due date, and where you need to go to make payment. If you choose to fight the ticket, it also includes the court date for your appearance and the court where you are to appear.

What Happens if I Don't Pay My Tickets?

Consequences for not paying speeding and parking tickets vary. In addition, each state handles such occurrences according to its own statutes. Tickets for moving violations, which includes speeding, are issued to the driver. Failure to either pay the ticket or appear in court by the due date typically results in license suspension or revocation.

Parking tickets are different. These are issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. This is why a reminder notice is sent, in the event the vehicle owner was not the person who parked the vehicle. However, this does not clear the owner's responsibility to pay the ticket. Failure to do so may result in your vehicle being towed and impounded. In addition, too many unpaid parking tickets may result in the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. You may also be unable to renew your vehicle registration.

In addition to differences between states, there are also variables within localities, typically resulting in more stringent rules within a certain city or county.

What are the Penalties for Not Paying a Speeding Ticket?

Failure to pay your speeding ticket by the due date, or to appear in court to fight the ticket, typically results the judge issuing a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are pulled over or detained for any reason, this warrant leads to your arrest. If this happens, you remain in jail until the court hears your case, though you may be released on bail.

In addition to the warrant, you accrue late fees on the original ticket. The state may also take you to collections, negatively impacting your credit rating. Finally, you face a variety of administrative type penalties. These include a suspended driver's license, increased auto insurance premiums, having your vehicle towed and impounded, and being declared ineligible to renew your vehicle registration or driver's license.

What are the Penalties for not Paying a Parking Ticket

The penalties for an unpaid parking ticket closely match those for not paying a speeding ticket. The main difference is that parking ticket recipients receive a reminder of the ticket and have a longer period in which to respond and make restitution.

What are My Options to Handle a Ticket?

When you receive a ticket for a moving violation such as speeding, or for illegal parking, your choices are paying the ticket or fighting it in court. Paying the ticket is an admission of guilt, but you may still avoid getting points on your license by attending traffic school. In nearly every state, if you attend an approved traffic school prior to the due date (which is listed on your ticket), you pay a reduced fee as well as avoid adding points to your license. Drivers often choose this option because accumulating too many points on your license leads to suspension or revocation.

The exception is if you attended traffic school for the same reason within a certain timeframe, typically between 18 and 36 months.

If you choose to fight the ticket in court, you must prove that you did not commit the infraction for which you were ticketed. You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you in court.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you failed to pay a speeding or parking ticket, or to show up in court to fight the ticket, schedule a free, confidential consultation with a defense attorney. Bring all relative documents, including your ticket, to the consultation. He or she will advise on how to proceed with your case.

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