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What to Do If You’ve Received a Traffic Citation in Texas

No one likes to see the red and blue flashing lights in their rear-view mirror. Getting a traffic ticket is never fun, but there are several options to take care of one if you manage to be one of the unlucky recipients. In Texas, the fine you receive for your ticket will depend on the county in which you received the ticket, as well as what the ticket was for. There may also be surcharges that go along with that ticket.

What Is the Texas Surcharge System?

In Texas, there are two ways of determining what surcharges will be applied to a traffic ticket. You may be given a surcharge according to the state’s point system, or they may be assigned based on a conviction. Surcharges based on points start when you have received six points. After you get six points, there will be a surcharge of $100. Each point thereafter will cost you $25. When it comes to conviction-based surcharges, the surcharges must be paid every three years, but unlike the point system, no points will be added to your record for them. Conviction-based surcharges, however, are much costlier. A driving under the influence charge, for example, results in a $1,000 surcharge.

Never Ignore a Traffic Ticket

You have 20 days after you receive a traffic ticket to decide what you are going to do with it. You can simply choose to pay the fine or decide to fight the charge. The one thing you never want to do, however, is to just ignore the ticket. This will most likely result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and it may result in suspension of your driver’s license. If either one of these occurs, it will cost you much more than if you had just paid the ticket to start with.

Why Would You Fight a Traffic Ticket?

If you make the decision to fight your ticket, there is a chance that you will come out better for it. You will have to notify the court if you decide to fight the ticket. This can be done by making an appearance on the required court date, with or without your attorney, or you may be allowed to let the court know by mail. Check with the county in which you received your ticket to determine what options are available for your situation.

If you received a traffic ticket for a more serious charge such as reckless driving or driving under the influence, it is recommended that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. A prosecutor may offer a plea deal to your attorney, which means lesser or fewer charges and a better outcome for your case. There is sometimes the possibility that your case could be dropped entirely with the help of an experienced attorney. A lawyer can tell you if your defense is likely to get your case dismissed or not. Attempting to defend yourself will likely not end in the result you want.

Contact an Experienced Attorney in Galveston or League City for Help

The Houston criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates have years of experience handling a variety of traffic tickets. We will fight to defend your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact us today for a consultation at (281) 280-0100.