Texas Traffic Warrants

I got a traffic ticket in Texas and haven't paid it.  What can I do to avoid getting arrested once the Texas Warrant Roundup starts?

Below are some options to resolve your ticket or offense before February to avoid your name being added to the Texas warrant list.

Plead guilty or no contest. Pleading guilty or no contest requires you to pay the ticket on or before the scheduled date to avoid additional fines and a warrant for your arrest.

Not guilty. Pleading not guilty, means you have decided to fight your traffic ticket. This requires an appearance in court to resolve the dispute classifying your offense as being temporarily resolved.

Either way, ignoring the fine and dates to respond will lead to a warrant in your name and the risk of being arrested once the Texas Warrant Roundup begins.

Are traffic ticket fines standard throughout Texas?

The answer to that question is no. Traffic ticket fines vary by county. However, penalties, points and surcharges are standardized throughout the state of Texas.

Example: Accumulating more than six points on your driving record will result in a $100 surcharge. Each additional point after that will cost you $25 per point. The state of Texas reviews your driving record annually to account for any convictions that have been added or removed and adjusts your record accordingly.

Some convictions carry surcharges that are assessed annually, usually for 3 years, starting with the conviction date. These are generally more expensive fines due to their seriousness in nature. The following conviction-based surcharges are automatic upon conviction:

    Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), first offense: $1,000

    DWI, two or more offenses: $1,500
    DWI with blood alcohol content of .16 or greater: $2,000
   No insurance: $250
    Driving with an invalid license: $250
    No driver license: $100

Note: The state will not add points to your driving record for these types of offenses.

Should I consult a traffic ticket attorney to help me resolve a traffic fine?
Hiring a traffic ticket attorney is always a smart idea. They can resolve your fine efficiently and professionally. They're especially helpful in out-of-state or out-of-county violations in which you were cited. A traffic ticket lawyer will take your place in the court appearance and act on your behalf in situations that are too far away. If you decide to plead not guilty, only an attorney can assist you in how to handle your case and help make a sound decision to resolve it.

During the Texas Warrant Roundup what should I do if I find flashing police lights behind me?
The first thing you should do is slow down immediately to let the officer know you're willing to surrender. Then, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. The best advice is to try and stay calm. Remain in your car unless otherwise instructed. Be polite and respectful and do as he or she orders. You don't want to not accrue further trouble. Keep your hands visible at all times. Do not make any sudden movements. Moving fast or acting defensively can be misinterpreted as a threat. If you're given a ticket, sign it. It is a must. It's not an admission of guilt just an acknowlegement that the ticket was received by you. Plus, If you don't, the officer can legally arrest you if he or she pleases.

Does an arrest warrant Ever expire?
The answer to that question is no. There is no statute of limitations for arrest warrants. It's crucial to find out if you have an outstanding warrant in your name before the Texas Roundup begins to avoid arrest. Addressing the warrant by paying the fine, attending your court date, or having it removed from your record, are the only ways to satisfy your warrant with the state.
Texas Government and Legal Resources
Texas.gov - Official government site of Texas

govspot.com - Texas Government Resources

Texas Department of Public Safety

AustinTexas.gov - Warrant Roundup Info


CNN - Justice

Texas State Law Resources

Department of Justice

Department of Motor Vehicles - Texas

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