By: Beltz Law Firm
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How To Remove Warrants For Traffic Tickets The Proper Way In Texas
What You Need To Know About Warrants For Traffic Tickets
How To Remove Warrants The Right Way
We have helped so many people lately that have hurt themselves by not really understanding how the law in Texas work against them once a case has gone into warrant status. This article is intended to help those that have warrants in Texas for traffic tickets understand exactly how a warrant is issued and what needs to be done to avoid severe financial penalties in the future due to the traffic ticket warrant in Texas. If you have questions you would like to ask our staff, feel free to leave us a comment or call us directly to talk about your specific traffic ticket warrant.
How Is A Warrant Issued For A Traffic Ticket?
A warrant is normally issued after an appearance date as passed requiring the defendant to appear on or before a certain date. In most cities and counties in Texas you have about 10 days to contact the court regarding your traffic ticket. Some allow more time, but it is best to use the 10 day rule if you are not sure.
Thereafter, once that date passes and no appearance has been made, then the case can be put into a warrant queue for the judge to review. If the judge reviews the file and finds all the necessary documentation to sign off on a warrant they can do so at that time. So a case from start to finish can end up in warrant status as soon as 2 weeks after getting the traffic ticket in Texas.
What Can Be Done About The Warrant For A Traffic Ticket Once It Is Issued?
There are many different options on resolving a warrant for traffic tickets. Some are very toxic to a person’s record and financial future, while others will resolve the case without any negative consequences to the person. Some of the ways to resolve a warrant for traffic tickets in Texas (both good and bad) are listed below:
- Do Jail Time – Although many still believe this is the cheapest way to resolve a ticket is in fact the exact opposite. Since 2003 Texas has been a part of the surcharge program. This program requires courts who convict people of traffic offenses to report those offenses directly to DPS in an effort to create safer drivers on the road. However, what the system has really become is a huge revenue generator for the State of Texas by assessing severe financial penalties against drivers who may not be bad drivers, but chose to do jail time instead of resolving Texas traffic tickets in some other way. How does this happen? Once a person chooses to do jail time, it is considered a conviction. You do not get to do jail time and protect your driving record. As a result the convictions are sent to DPS and then a surcharge can be assessed against the driver depending on the offense. Some of the surcharges are triple the amount of jail time credit a person would get for money owed to the court. Therefore, a person can end up doing jail time for credit on the amount owed on the Texas traffic ticket and end up owing more than they originally did in the first place to DPS. So what is the benefit of doing jail time on a ticket? There really isn’t any benefit anymore.
Just Pay The Warrant Off At The Court Window – Paying off a traffic ticket at the court window in Texas is the equivalent of doing jail time in the eyes of the law. Any payment received is considered a plea of guilty on the offense just as if you went to trial and were found guilty by a jury. Article 27.14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the authority for such a stance. It specifically states, “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.” So, the bottom line is don’t do it. You cannot run down to the court to pay off traffic tickets to avoid arrest and not think about the surcharges and penalties that will be assessed as a result of the choice to pay off warrants this way. It is time to become more educated about the legal system we have in place in Texas to avoid the severe penalties that can be assessed against you through DPS because of the convictions reported.
Post A Cash Bond At The Court And Request A Court Date – This is when you go to the courthouse where the warrants are pending and request a new court date. However, the court will only allow you to get a new court date if you post the full amount of the fine up as security. Sometimes the fines can be so high that this is not even a possibility. We have seen cash bond amounts as high as $700.00 per case depending on the offenses. However, if you are able to post a cash bond on your case, you will then be given a new court date.
- The benefit is that you can go to court and negotiate with the prosecutor for the court to try to keep the violations off your record. The downside is that most prosecutors are going to want to keep all the money you just gave them in exchange for doing so. Also, another big downside is that if you accidentally miss the new court date all the money you put up as security is forfeit and the cases go back into warrant without ever being resolved.
- Hire A Lawyer To Lift The Warrants And Protect Your Driving Record – The benefit of hiring a lawyer is ten fold compared to your other options after a
case has gone into warrant status. There is no comparison really. The reasons why are listed below.
- First, a lawyer can be hired for substantially less than the total amount of the ticket in order to get the Texas traffic ticket out of warrant status. Normally an attorney charges around $100.00 to $150.00 per ticket as opposed to the $300.00 to $700.00 a court might require as a cash bond.
- Second, the lawyer will appear in court on your behalf to resolve the Texas traffic tickets that were previously in warrant. This appearance is to resolve your cases in a way that keeps the violations from being reported to DPS. Are all your cases going to be dismissed because you hired a lawyer? Probably not. But at least the lawyer can help keep them from hurting you twice as much. Basically, if your case is not dismissed, you paid a lawyer a fee of $100.00 to lift the warrant, appear in court on your behalf, keep the tickets off your record and save you surcharges and increased insurance rates that can be as high as $3000.00 due to a single ticket. The amount of money invested in a lawyer for savings like this is always going to be worth it.
Third, If a case is legally insufficient and dismissal is warranted a lawyer can fight to have that happen. This is not an option you would even know about in most cases and almost certainly would not be offered to you by most prosecutors across Texas.
- Finally, hiring a lawyer creates a situation where you can become educated about the Texas system. The biggest benefit our clients receive by hiring our office is exactly that. They always have a resource they can rely on to ask questions and become more informed about the legal processes involved in traffic ticket defense around the State of Texas.
If you have warrants in Texas for traffic tickets, we highly suggest you turn to a lawyer for help. In years past you may not have needed a lawyer to resolve traffic ticket warrants. However, those days have passed. Seek the help of legal counsel with your traffic ticket warrants. You will be thankful you did.