Don’t Pay Old Tickets: Make a Better Choice

It’s happened to most of us: you receive a traffic ticket and set it aside, fully intending to either pay the fines and fees or appear before a judge to plead your case. Life takes over, you get busy with your job, your children and the myriad of other issues which take up your time. Soon, time has passed and without your realizing it you have missed your window of opportunity. The result could well be an arrest warrant with your name on it.

texas state warrant

Some people believe the underlying traffic ticket was unfair, or that they simply did not commit the crime, which is most likely a relatively minor Class C misdemeanor such as speeding, failure to display a registration or inspection sticker, or sliding through a stop light or stop sign. Irrespective of such beliefs, missing a court appearance for any of these violations can carry very real consequences.

The bottom line, however, is that ignoring or forgetting those tickets or court dates is not the best course of action. Such neglect almost always catches up to you and with the Houston Warrant Roundup just around the corner, that time could be nearer than you think. For the past seven years Houston and Harris County have joined with over 250 other jurisdictions across the state of Texas to take part in the Great Texas Warrant Roundup. While no official date for 2016 has yet been released, the Roundup generally kicks off during the last week of February, lasting several weeks. There are two distinct phases of the Roundup. The first phase is intended to give a “heads up” to those with arrest warrants through notifications via phone, mail or notes left on your front door.


Of course the notification system is hardly perfect, meaning not every person with a warrant will be properly notified. Once the notification phase has run its course, law enforcement personnel will begin aggressively seeking out those with warrants in order to collect the fines or arrest the person whether that arrest takes place at work, in front of the boss, at home with family members or even at your child’s school. The “knee-jerk” reaction to realizing there is an arrest warrant with your name on it is to rush down to the courthouse to pay your fines and fees. On the surface this seems a rational solution to the immediate problem, however it’s important that you consider the long-term repercussions of simply writing a check.


Avoiding Negative Repercussions

It is natural that you will want to avoid the humiliation of being handcuffed in front of your co-workers or loved ones, however take a few moments to consider the alternative before paying your past due court amounts. While it is highly unlikely that you would be arrested as you stand in line to take care of your fines, it is possible. For this reason it can be a much better plan to have a Sullo & Sullo Houston Warrant Roundup Lawyer post a bond on your behalf, effectively quashing the arrest warrant and possibly opening up more options as far as taking care of the underlying causes of the arrest warrant.


Once you open up your wallet, you have effectively pled guilty to the original charge, and the conviction will go on your criminal record. You will accrue points for the offense—and when you have a certain number of points you could actually lose your driver’s license not to mention your insurance rates will skyrocket. There are a variety of complexities involved, particularly for those whose job requires that they drive or that they have a CDL license. Our Houston Warrant Roundup Lawyers are likely aware of solutions you had not considered, meaning you have a much greater chance of a positive outcome. Our Sullo & Sullo Warrant Roundup Attorneys have been dealing with traffic citations and traffic warrants for many years and we can lay out your options and attempt to lessen the long-term effects.


Protecting Your Driving Record

Your Texas driving record should be protected to the fullest extent possible as it influences a wide variety of issues. In some cases you can attend traffic school when you receive a traffic citation which will prevent points from being added to your driving record. Paying a ticket is equal to a conviction, so it’s important that you keep that in mind and not allow the threat of an arrest warrant force you into doing something that will have negative consequences. Traffic violations, while they are generally misdemeanors, are nonetheless considered criminal offenses and as such become part of your permanent record.


When a potential employer conducts a background check, this information could be visible to them and could prevent you from obtaining a job you want and are well qualified for. The state of Texas routinely tracks your violations and auto accidents and if you simply pay past tickets you could find yourself in the unenviable position of being unable to renew your driver’s license. Further, your insurance company is allowed to pull your driving record periodically in order to determine whether they will continue to insure you and, if so, how much they will raise your rates depending on points accrued.


The point system implemented by the state of Texas generally garners you two points for a moving violation or three for a moving violation resulting in an accident. Once you have reached the six-point limit within a three-year period, DPS will also assess yearly surcharges. These surcharges can be a true financial nightmare, starting at $100 per year with increases of $25 per point for each point received above six points. Paying a ticket given for failure to provide proof of insurance could garner you a surcharge of up to $250 per year for the next three years—neglecting to pay that surcharge could result in a license suspension. Sullo & Sullo attorneys could potentially negotiate a plea or even get the underlying traffic charges dropped in order to minimize the points to your license as well as the surcharges.


Call the Houston Warrant Roundup Lawyers at Sullo & Sullo before Paying Old Traffic Tickets

If you have a traffic warrant issued from any of the following courts--Houston Municipal Court, HCJP 1-1, HCJP 1-2, HCJP 3-1, HCJP 4-1, HCJP 4-2, HCJP 5-1, HCJP 5-2, HCJP 7-2, HCJP 8-1, HCJP 8-2, Jersey Village Municipal Court, Sugarland Municipal Court, Stafford Municipal Court, Missouri City Municipal Court, Pasadena Municipal Court, City of South Houston Municipal Court and Baytown Municipal Court—there may be many valid reasons not to pay your old traffic tickets. Our system offers several avenues for getting out from under an arrest warrant without paying fines and be subject to points and hidden penalties. Our attorneys can post a bond on your behalf, effectively quashing the warrant. Once that is done, you have many options available to you and it is certainly in your best interests to explore those options with a Sullo & Sullo Warrant Roundup Lawyer by your side. 

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