By: Beltz Law Firm
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How To Pay Off Old Traffic Tickets Without Causing Harm To Your Record In Texas
Attorneys That Lift Warrants For Tickets
By far the biggest mistake we see during the warrant roundup in Texas are those that get their income tax check in and run down to the court house to pay off all their warrants. This is such a big issue in Texas that it has probably caused more driver license suspensions than any other issue. The reason why it is a problem is due to the way Texas treats payments for outstanding traffic tickets in Texas. Under Article 27.14 of The Code Of Criminal Procedure, payments for tickets are considered convictions for reporting purposes. This article is intended to help those that have outstanding traffic tickets during income tax season understand the proper way to remove the warrant and protect their record. If you would like to talk with an experienced lawyer about lifting warrants in the Dallas, Texas area after reading this article, feel free to contact our office at 214-321-4105.
Article 27.14 Of The Code Of Criminal Procedure
This code section allows courts to treat payments of old traffic tickets as a conviction. Once it is reported as a conviction to The Department Of Public Safety, it is near impossible to remove. The conviction will remain on the record forever. The damage from the conviction can be substantial as well. If certain tickets are paid off, it can cause a minimum surcharge of $750.00 that is payable in 3 equal installments of $250.00 per year. This is for a single offense. Multiple tickets paid off can cause multiple surcharges. The specific language in Article 27.14 that grants the authority of Texas courts to report payments as convictions is as follows:
Art. 27.14. PLEA OF GUILTY OR NOLO CONTENDERE IN MISDEMEANOR. (a) A plea of “guilty” or a plea of “nolo contendere” in a misdemeanor case may be made either by the defendant or his counsel in open court; in such case, the defendant or his counsel may waive a jury, and the punishment may be assessed by the court either upon or without evidence, at the discretion of the court.
(b) A defendant charged with a misdemeanor for which the maximum possible punishment is by fine only may, in lieu of the method provided in Subsection (a), mail or deliver in person to the court a plea of “guilty” or a plea of “nolo contendere” and a waiver of jury trial. The defendant may also request in writing that the court notify the defendant, at the address stated in the request, of the amount of an appeal bond that the court will approve. If the court receives a plea and waiver before the time the defendant is scheduled to appear in court, the court shall dispose of the case without requiring a court appearance by the defendant. If the court receives a plea and waiver after the time the defendant is scheduled to appear in court but at least five business days before a scheduled
trial date, the court shall dispose of the case without requiring a court appearance by the defendant. The court shall notify the defendant either in person or by regular mail of the amount of any fine or costs assessed in the case, information regarding the alternatives to the full payment of any fine or costs assessed against the defendant, if the defendant is unable to pay that amount, and, if requested by the defendant, the amount of an appeal bond that the court will approve. Except as otherwise provided by this code, the defendant shall pay any fine or costs assessed or give an appeal bond in the amount stated in the notice before the 31st day after receiving the notice.
(c) In a misdemeanor case for which the maximum possible punishment is by fine only, payment of a fine or an amount accepted by the court constitutes a finding of guilty in open court as though a plea of nolo contendere had been entered by the defendant and constitutes a waiver of a jury trial in writing.
(d) If written notice of an offense for which maximum possible punishment is by fine only or of a violation relating to the manner, time, and place of parking has been prepared, delivered, and filed with the court and a legible duplicate copy has been given to the defendant, the written notice serves as a complaint to which the defendant may plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “nolo contendere.” If the defendant pleads “not guilty” to the offense or fails to appear based on the written notice, a complaint shall be filed that conforms to the requirements of Chapter 45 of this code, and that complaint serves as an original complaint. A defendant may waive the filing of a sworn complaint and elect that the prosecution proceed on the written notice of the charged offense if the defendant agrees in writing with the prosecution, signs the agreement, and files it with the court.
(e)(1) Before accepting a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere by a defendant charged with a misdemeanor involving family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, Family Code, the court shall admonish the defendant by using the following statement:
“If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense involving violence where you are or were a spouse, intimate partner, parent, or guardian of the victim or are or were involved in another, similar relationship with the victim, it may be unlawful for you to possess or purchase a firearm, including a handgun or long gun, or ammunition, pursuant to federal law under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(9) or Section 46.04(b), Texas Penal Code. If you have any questions whether these laws make it illegal for you to possess or purchase a firearm, you should consult an attorney.”
(2) The court may provide the admonishment under Subdivision (1) orally or in writing, except that if the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor punishable by fine only, the statement printed on a citation issued under Article 14.06(b) may serve as the court admonishment required by this subsection.
Hire An Attorney To Lift Warrants In Dallas
The better way to pay off old traffic tickets that have gone into warrant is to retain an attorney. Attorneys can remove the warrant without harming your permanent record. Thereafter, they can go to court on your behalf to try and negotiate a deal to protect your permanent record. This extra step is necessary if you care about your driver license, insurance rates and don’t want to pay surcharges to The Department Of Public Safety. We encourage you to hire a lawyer to lift warrants in the Dallas area to protect yourself from further financial harm that could be caused by traffic ticket convictions. If you would like to talk to a ticket attorney in Dallas, Texas call 214-321-4105.