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What Are the Consequences of Unpaid Traffic Citations?

Many people do not realize how common traffic citations are. Just in the state of Florida, there are more than 2 million citations issued to drivers every single year! On top of that, the number of citations issued to citizens continues to go up year by year.

That number might be lower if more people knew about how inconvenient traffic citations can be. Some people think that they can simply ignore them in order to avoid paying them. However, there are a number of more serious consequences that can come along with failing to pay a traffic citation.

So what exactly are these consequences, and how can you avoid them? Read on to learn all about the most important things to understand about the potential ramifications of unpaid traffic citations.

What Is a Traffic Citation?

Some people mistakenly distinguish traffic tickets from traffic citations. The truth is that they are exactly the same thing.

No matter which term you use for it, a citation is a written record of a traffic violation issued to you by an officer of the law. In some places, you can also receive automatic citations for violating laws on camera.

Pay Traffic Tickets to Avoid Extra Fines

One of the most obvious consequences of failing to pay traffic citations is that the amount of money you will be required to pay continues to go up. If you are lucky, the amount you will have to pay will increase only once. However, depending on your situation, the amount the government fines you can increase again and again.

All by itself, being late for the initial deadline for traffic citation payment can mean doubling your fine. Many people feel that they cannot pay a traffic citation within the deadline. Then they end up simply ignoring it until they get a notice that they now have to pay even more within a certain period of time.

However, there are actually options available to people if they will address their citations rather than ignore them.

Even if you cannot pay a ticket right away, you should call and acknowledge the ticket. You can also explain the situation. This can potentially lead to you being provided with payment options.

Even if you end up having to pay late, you may not receive extra fines at all if you follow the instructions for communication on your citation or other notices related to it. And if you do end up having to pay an extra fine for being late, it will probably be significantly less than if you simply ignored your ticket.

Pay Florida Traffic Citations to Avoid a Suspended License

But what if you refuse to pay the increase in your fine? Some people think that they can simply continue to ignore their tickets and never have to pay for them.

Of course, the legal system is familiar with situations like this and has prepared for every eventuality. If you do not pay your traffic citations, you may eventually lose your driver’s license. The longer you ignore your tickets, the longer your license may end up suspended.

Again, you can often avoid this kind of consequence by calling to discuss the situation with a government representative. However, if you continue to ignore the situation, your license may be suspended for longer and longer.

Pay Your Traffic Citations to Avoid a Warrant for Your Arrest

Some people think that they can simply ignore a suspended license as well. However, continuing to fail to acknowledge traffic citations leads to escalating consequences. At some point, the police may issue a warrant for your arrest.

This does not necessarily only happen after you have already received a suspended license. In some cases, your case will escalate immediately from extra fines all the way up to a warrant for your arrest.

When that happens, your license will often be suspended at the same time. This can mean that the government charges you with a misdemeanor offense.

If the police arrest you, you can face jail time. In other cases, you may only have to deal with community payback or community service of some kind.

Unpaid Citations Can Lead to Legal Charges

The context of an offense can greatly affect how the legal system treats it. If you have nothing else on your record, a given crime or violation might mean that you will be treated with leniency.

But if you have unpaid traffic citations, the legal system may look on you less favorably. On top of that, many businesses will also consider you a less desirable customer. Insurance companies may only be willing to provide you with insurance if you are willing to pay higher prices for it.

If the government suspends your driver’s license, you may have to pay much more than usual to reinstate it. Under the wrong circumstances, the police might even impound your car for up to 30 days. If that happens, you will also have to pay to get your car back.

Consider a Traffic Citation Appeal With a Traffic Lawyer

Some people refuse to pay traffic citations because they feel that they are unjust. Even if that is the case, it is important to address the situation rather than ignore it.

On top of that, challenging citations can be extremely difficult to do alone. You are much more likely to succeed if you work with a quality traffic lawyer.

Understand the Consequences of Unpaid Traffic Citations

We hope learning about the consequences of unpaid traffic citations has been helpful for you. Many people are not sure how to prioritize paying their traffic citations against the other pressing concerns in their life. Understanding more about what might happen if you do not pay your citations can help you make the decisions that are best for your situation.

In many cases, people benefit from consulting with a traffic lawyer. To speak with legal experts who might be able to help you with your traffic citation situation, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!


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