No one likes to get a traffic ticket, no matter where you live. If you should get one in Texas, there are several options you have when it comes time to take care of it.
Texas Counties Charge Differently
In the state of Texas, the amount of the fine you will need to pay will depend on the county you got the ticket in. Each one has its own set of charges, and there may be surcharges, too.
The Surcharge System in Texas
Texas has two ways to determine the surcharges that will be applied to traffic tickets. You might be given a surcharge according to the point system, or they may be given on a conviction basis.
Surcharges based on points start once you have six points. These surcharges will be standard anywhere in Texas. After you get more than 6 points, there will be a surcharge of $100. Any more points will cost you $25 per extra point. Texas reviews each person’s driving record on an annual basis, and these surcharges will need to be paid each year the points remain on your record.
When it comes to convictions on more serious charges, the surcharges will have to be paid for a period of three years. No points, however, will be added to your record for them, but they are costly. A DWI (driving while under the influence), for instance, will have a surcharge of $1,000 for a first offense per year; and a second DWI offense will cost $1,500 per year. If you are charged with a DWI having blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.16%, you will face a surcharge of $2,000 per year.
Texas Gives You Several Ways to Pay for a Traffic Ticket
After you get a traffic ticket in Texas, you have 20 days to decide what you are going to do about it. You can choose to pay the ticket, or decide to fight it. If you should decide to pay the ticket and not fight it, Texas lets you pay it several ways, which makes it quite convenient, but not all methods may be available in every county. You can pay it:
- In person
- By mail
- Pay fines online
- Through a phone.
What You Do Not Want to Do When Issued a Traffic Ticket
The last thing you want to do when given a ticket in Texas is to ignore it. This will likely result in a warrant being put out for your arrest; or it may result in an automatic suspension of your license. If either one of these events occurs, you can be sure that it will end up costing you more in the end than if you simply paid the ticket.
What Happens If You Pay the Ticket
If you should choose to pay the Texas traffic ticket, you are admitting guilt in the case. If it is a more serious case involving criminal actions, it can have some consequences that include:
- Paying the fine, which means you might pay it for three years or more (depending on whether more points are added during that time).
- Possibly having points added to your driver’s license. This could result in a suspension of your license, or you could have it revoked.
- Additional points are also likely to increase your auto insurance premiums.
- May have the option to lesser penalties if offered a plea bargain.
If you opt to pay the ticket, the court may give you the option to take a driver safety course. It will have to be one that is approved by the state. If you are given permission, points will be removed and the ticket dismissed after you have successfully completed the course.
Why You Might Want to Fight a Ticket
If you choose to fight the ticket, there is a chance that you may come out better for it. In order to take this step, the court will have to be notified of your decision. You can either make the required appearance on the court date—with or without a lawyer—or you may be able to let the court know by mail. In some counties, the mail option may not be available. You can make sure of the correct method by contacting the court in the county where the ticket was given and asking them if mail is acceptable or if you must make a personal appearance.
If you were given a traffic ticket for a more serious charge, such as for drunk driving or reckless driving, it would be a very good idea to get a lawyer. A prosecutor may offer you a plea deal at the start of the legal proceedings, which likely means fewer charges and a better outcome for you.
If you think that a defense could be offered that could get the charges dropped, as well as the surcharges, you would probably do best by getting a lawyer to defend you. Defending yourself may not produce the desired results. The lawyer can also tell you whether or not your defense is likely to get you off the hook or not. Anyone that is a minor will probably need to make a court appearance.
Consulting with a Lawyer about Traffic Cases
It would also be a good idea to at least consult with a lawyer if there is going to be criminal charges. The lawyer can tell you in advance what you might expect in the way of charges, and can provide advice, whether or not they actually go to court with you. It may be very important to you to know the best way to plead before going to court, because if you plead “not guilty,” then any plea bargains you may have been offered are dropped immediately. You also could be found guilty of all charges.
An Easy Way to Get an Affordable Lawyer
If you decide to fight your traffic ticket, it is not necessary to have to make a bunch of cold calls to find the affordable traffic attorney you need. There is an easier way to do it online and have lawyers bidding against each other to handle your case.
The website at BernieSez.com was made to help you find the Texas traffic ticket lawyer you need. You simply upload a copy of the ticket, enter some information, and lawyers will be contacting you with their bids. You simply need to look over the bids, check their credentials, and contact them. There is absolutely no charge to you to use the site, and is available nationwide.