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  1. #1

    What happens if you don't pay a traffic ticket?

    I got a ticket a week ago for having the light above my back license plate out on my car.... I don't know how I was supposed to know that the light was out cuz I mean really how often do you look at the back of your car??? Anyways... They want $155 for the ticket and I can't afford that.. If I don't pay the ticket what will happen?

  2. #2
    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    I believe you can go to the courthouse and negotiate if you can prove you really cannot pay.

    Otherwise, they will eventually issue a warrant for your arrest (although most likely not actively come get you), but if you get pulled over again for any reason in the future, they'll see the active warrant and arrest you.

    Disclaimer: The above is in no way legal advice.
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    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
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    Both of those links don't provide any evidence. They make unsubstantiated statements

  3. #3
    Do you think I'd just be able to do jail time or community service instead of paying it? I mean that's a lot of money.

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    Merely a Setback Rukentuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtiiina View Post
    Do you think I'd just be able to do jail time or community service instead of paying it? I mean that's a lot of money.
    Um, they'd most likely negotiate something beforehand if you go down there and explain it to someone instead of just sitting on it and hoping. They tend to help out those that really want it, because it shows you're not just a petty person looking to get away with it rather someone who will pay what they can.

    Again, not legal advice lawyer-style, just saying that's what I'd do in your shoes.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatOak View Post
    Hey, as a transabled, transethnic, non-binary, genderqueer, neo-communist, indoor-capable republican otherkin I am offended by your callous display of ignorance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    Both of those links don't provide any evidence. They make unsubstantiated statements

  5. #5
    It depends where you live. I live in California and I got a fix-it ticket for expired registration early September, class had just started and there was NO way I was paying it off any time soon. Flash forward January, finally get the registration taken care of, I missed my original court date which was Nov 28th and the local Court sent me mail threatening to suspend my license AND they added an additional charge of $25 (may not sound like much but it's $25 that I will no longer have). From what I have been told the fine can be as large as $900 if you seriously ignore it. This is all for a first time violation of ANY sorts...

    My suggestion, find some possible way to pay for it within 6 months. I know it's a bitch but the consequences can fucking suck.

  6. #6
    most states will also yank your license, so add another fee on top of the ticket. plus possible court costs down the line for failure to appear (not for the ticket itself, but for the failure to pay appearance they will likely schedule, which you would undoubtedly not show up for)
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  7. #7
    Dreadlord Felicia's Avatar
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    My husband or I got a ticket in a car we used to own about 4 years ago. It was a No Right Turn on Red with a camera. Funny thing was, I was with my husband that day, and we definitely stopped. Didn't move at all :P Not until the light turned. It was a 100 dollar ticket. I refused to pay it, and forgot about the damn thing. I made sure that tiny police department in San Antonio knew, too...

    A few months ago I get a call from a lawyer, saying that the Balcones Heights police department will be summoning my DAD to court if I don't pay off this ticket. What I didn't realize was that the car was in my dad's name, and the ticket was actually for my dad! He has a CDL license, and has a trucking company. So I paid that ticket immediately, didn't even look back... haven't heard from them since. Luckily my dad never found out because I wouldn't be alive to post this :P

  8. #8
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtiiina View Post
    I got a ticket a week ago for having the light above my back license plate out on my car.... I don't know how I was supposed to know that the light was out cuz I mean really how often do you look at the back of your car??? Anyways... They want $155 for the ticket and I can't afford that.. If I don't pay the ticket what will happen?
    If it was for a light being out, it's likely a fix-it ticket. Get the light fixed, show evidence of the fixing at the courthouse, and you'll only have to pay a nominal fee for the paperwork. If it's not a fix-it ticket, get it fixed and show up at the court date with evidence to show it's been fixed and ask for it to be expunged.
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  9. #9
    I'm from NY and I got a ticket two years ago for 6mph over the speed limit. The officer cited me fore "Failing to obey a traffic controlling device" when reducing my speed upon coming up to a speed limit sign. I went to court, explained to the DA and the judge what had happened, neither of whom cared at all. The ticket was $60 and the court fees were $120. I told the judge that I wasn't paying that, because the ticket and use of law enforcement in that manner was unjust.
    The judge then told me that if I didn't pay my license would be suspended and would be reinstated when I decided to pay the ticket. No warrants, no arrests, ect, just can't drive. I wouldn't pay that either.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by xtiiina View Post
    Do you think I'd just be able to do jail time or community service instead of paying it? I mean that's a lot of money.
    Go to a courthouse and see if you can make payments on it instead of paying it all at once. They might even reduce the ticket price. You wont get any help just sitting on the ticket though so go to the courthouse and talk with them.

  11. #11
    I am Murloc! Garnier Fructis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reeve View Post
    If it was for a light being out, it's likely a fix-it ticket. Get the light fixed, show evidence of the fixing at the courthouse, and you'll only have to pay a nominal fee for the paperwork. If it's not a fix-it ticket, get it fixed and show up at the court date with evidence to show it's been fixed and ask for it to be expunged.
    This man speaks the truth. The only reason this type of ticket is expensive is that they really want you to get it fixed.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by xtiiina View Post
    don't know how I was supposed to know that the light was out cuz I mean really how often do you look at the back of your car???
    I would like to say that very few people actually take proper care of their vehicles. It is nothing to take 5 min out of your week, to check the proper fluid levels and operation of lights and wipers. You can do everything yourself except brake lights which would require help from a friend or spouse.

    Quote Originally Posted by xtiiina View Post
    If I don't pay the ticket what will happen?
    If you dont pay they will issue a warrant. Depending on how "Busy" they are they can send a constable out to arrest you(weeks or months down the road). If that doesnt happen and you are pulled over in the future or happen to have your plates run while out and about you will be arrested. I suggest you go to court explain your situtation and see what happens. They will work with you.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtiiina View Post
    I got a ticket a week ago for having the light above my back license plate out on my car.... I don't know how I was supposed to know that the light was out cuz I mean really how often do you look at the back of your car???
    Sorry but, who but you are responsible for your car being fit to drive on the roads?

    Iirc when I did my training it was expected that you go through your vehicle to check that everything is in order before taking it out on the roads. Things like checking the lights, brakes working, that your license plates are readable, that you don't have anything hanging loosely that can fall off etc. Who but you are supposed to know these things when you take your vehicle out on the road? It's irresponsible to take out a vehicle on the road not knowing if it's a hazard or not. Luckily it was just a light this time.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by petej0 View Post
    I would like to say that very few people actually take proper care of their vehicles. It is nothing to take 5 min out of your week, to check the proper fluid levels and operation of lights and wipers. You can do everything yourself except brake lights which would require help from a friend or spouse.



    If you dont pay they will issue a warrant. Depending on how "Busy" they are they can send a constable out to arrest you(weeks or months down the road). If that doesnt happen and you are pulled over in the future or happen to have your plates run while out and about you will be arrested. I suggest you go to court explain your situtation and see what happens. They will work with you.
    This will literally never happen. Show me any evidence that this has happened anywhere recently.

  15. #15
    Legendary! Reg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePilkington View Post
    This will literally never happen. Show me any evidence that this has happened anywhere recently.
    It will happen because if you fail to pay a ticket, you license gets revoked/suspended. If you are pulled over with a revoked/suspended license, you can be arrested for operating a vehicle without a license. Then at that point, not only are you responsible for the original ticket, you will be responsible for paying the suspension fee to get your license back, towing/impound fees for your car, and then any new tickets you might get. It happens every day.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePilkington View Post
    This will literally never happen. Show me any evidence that this has happened anywhere recently.
    I recently got a ticket and right on the ticket it said that failure to either pay or appear to the court will result in a warrant being issued for my arrest.

    What are you debating?

  17. #17
    Legendary! vindicatorx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtiiina View Post
    I got a ticket a week ago for having the light above my back license plate out on my car.... I don't know how I was supposed to know that the light was out cuz I mean really how often do you look at the back of your car??? Anyways... They want $155 for the ticket and I can't afford that.. If I don't pay the ticket what will happen?
    If you ignore the ticket they will suspend your license, you get pulled over after that they can arrest you and impound your car. My advice pay the ticket you are responsible for the state of your car at all times no matter how silly you find it is.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePilkington View Post
    This will literally never happen. Show me any evidence that this has happened anywhere recently.
    Evidence of what?

  19. #19
    Just go to court, it really is pretty simple. I've gone for it before. The cop even came up before they started seeing people saying they know you are all there to try to get lower points/speed/fees so just go in and tell them what happened. If the ticket is just for a light being out, get the light fixed, go to court, show them the repair, apologize and say you didn't realize and it must have happened very recently. Best case they drop the whole thing.

    Not doing anything, but somehow not getting in trouble isn't an option here.

  20. #20
    The Patient
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    The most likely thing that will happen is that your license will be suspended. If you get pulled over with a suspended license, you can and probably will be taken to jail. Your car will be impounded and you'll have to pay to get that out, pay a fine, and pay to get your license back. Go to the court date and hope the fine is reduced or eliminated because it'll only cost you more in the long run if you don't. Please don't ignore it and think nothing will happen because I assure you it's not worth it.

    Edit: I read the replies and you definitely should fix the light. Save the packaging and the sales receipt and take that with you on your scheduled court date. If you go to your court date, they can work out a payment plan for you as well. At the Judge's discretion, the ticket fine could be reduced or eliminated. So basically, Fix it, Save the proof, Go to court.
    Last edited by Harmzuay; 2013-01-10 at 06:00 PM.

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