Handling a Traffic Ticket Warrant
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Here is a problem that every day ordinary people deal with all the time. They are too busy! Too busy to get their oil changed, too busy to get groceries, too busy to go to court and make the appearance date on the back of the ticket that was listed in 8pt font so that you couldn’t read it to begin with. We understand all of this. We also understand that municipalities give less and less time to make the appearance before they put your case into warrant status. For instance some courts only allow 10 days to appear on a traffic citation before they issue a second ticket for "violation of promise to appear" (VPTA’s for short) and put both the original citation and the new ticket in warrant. Even worse, if you have multiple traffic citations on the same ticket and miss the appearance date listed on the traffic ticket, the court could issue multiple VPTA’s and warrants. The new VPTA ticket could cost you up to $600.00 in some courts if it is not dismissed. If you think this practice is unfair, you are preaching to the choir. If you have concerns about hiring an attorney to help you lift your traffic ticket warrants, read below to understand the difference between lifting the warrants yourself and retaining a traffic ticket lawyer to help you lift the warrants.
I Want to Save Money. Can I lift my Traffic Ticket Warrants without Having to Hire an Attorney?
Here are the two options a person has if they want to represent themselves to dispose of the traffic ticket warrants:
1. Post a Cash Bond
This means you will have to post the full amount of the traffic ticket (usually $300 to $500 per traffic ticket) and you will have to appear in court. That is right! You will have to take off work at least one day (and maybe more) to appear before the judge of the court and explain why you missed your court date and why he should allow you to keep the traffic citations off your record. Further, you stand the risk of losing all the cash you posted towards the fines assessed for your original traffic tickets.
2. Time Served
Sit in jail. This is usually done when you get pulled over with outstanding warrants for traffic tickets and the officer chooses to arrest you on site. Once you have served enough time in jail for your traffic tickets, the judge can grant you time served to resolve the matter. The problem with this method is that time served is the same as pleading guilty to the underlying traffic tickets. This means that they will go on your record and be reported to DPS. Once they are reported to DPS, this agency can then assess civil penalties depending on the traffic tickets that were issued and you have to pay for your traffic tickets all over again! Time served is the least beneficial way to take care of most traffic citations in a post-surcharge era.
The bottom line is that warrants and fees for traffic tickets can easily surpass a month’s worth of paychecks if you are not careful. But even if you currently have traffic ticket warrants we can help you get out of this vicious cycle by posting an attorney’s bond which will lift the traffic ticket warrants and to represent you on the underlying traffic offenses.
Our fee for posting an attorney bond for warrants on traffic tickets are normally substantially less than you would have to pay if you posted the cash bond discussed in number 1 above. Further, the fee paid to our office includes representation at the first pre-trial hearing that the court sets after the warrant is lifted. In most cases, this means that you will normally not have to appear in court after we lift the warrants for traffic tickets.
Further, once the warrants for traffic tickets have been lifted we still have the opportunity to review your citations to determine if there is any legal reason to have the traffic tickets dismissed. Dismissal of your traffic tickets most certainly would not be an option given to you if you posted cash bonds and chose to represent yourself for your traffic tickets. The prosecutor is not there to be your friend in that situation. They are there to (1) get a conviction or plea and (2) insure that the cash bond is applied to the fine amounts owed.
From the Author: Texas Traffic Attorney