When you receive a moving violation from a law enforcement officer, unless the moving violation results in a felony conviction or you are detained immediately (typically this happens in cases like D.U.I., O.W.I., etc), the traffic ticket or fine you receive from the officer should have either an optional or a mandatory appearance date scheduled at the time the ticket is written. This appearance date is available for you to go before a judge (either circuit or municipal, depending on the offense), should you intend to contest the nature or validity of the ticket. If paying traffic violation fines is not your intention, it is in your best interest to attend this hearing and make a plea on your own behalf. Failure to attend this hearing will result in a pleas of no contest or guilty to be entered for you, and you will be ordered to pay the entire amount and forfeit the license points designated on the original citation.
Once a plea has been entered and the fine amount ordered, you will also be ordered to pay within a designated amount of time. In most jurisdictions, this period is typically 60 or 90 days. The consequences for failing to pay the entirety of your citation do vary from state to state, and typically they depend on the nature of the offense and the number of previous offenses on your traffic record. Some of the typical consequences for failure to pay a traffic fine are:
There are many other options the state has available to obtain payment for your fine. The determining factor is the statutes for traffic violations in the jurisdiction the infraction occurred in. If you intend to pay the fine but don't have the funds available by the given date, most states allow payment plans or deferred payments for those who can prove financial hardship. Be sure to look into traffic law and statutes for any state you receive a citation from before making your decision and consult with an experienced attorney who can help you choose your best course of action for dealing with your traffic violation fine.