Traffic tickets are a annoyance that thousands of Texans deal with each year. Although paying tickets for speeding, failure to carry insurance or other traffic violations can be a hassle, forgetting to pay can lead to serious unforeseen problems. Indeed, drivers in Texas who fail to pay their traffic tickets may find themselves behind bars as part of local law enforcement’s annual warrant roundup.
Each year, during the first week in March, law enforcement agencies across Texas kick off the Great Texas Warrant Roundup. As part of this event, police officers step up efforts to find and arrest those who have failed to pay their traffic tickets or contest them in court in a timely fashion. From small towns to large cities, thousands of people are arrested and millions of dollars in fines are collected throughout the state.
The Great Texas Warrant Roundup approach is unique to Texas. The goal is to make sure that people take their obligation to pay misdemeanor fines seriously, as well as to clear the books of unpaid tickets. In some larger jurisdictions, this bureaucratic backlog can create issues and the Roundup helps police stay in front of larger problems. Of course, it is also important to local government to collect the full amount of unpaid fines, which can be substantial.
For those who are caught up in the Roundup and arrested, the failure to pay the initial ticket can be both embarrassing and more expensive. In some cases, law enforcement officials publish not only the names of people with unpaid tickets, but also the pictures from their driver’s licenses. Furthermore, those on the warrant list face the possibility of having police officers show up to their homes or places of business to arrest them. In addition, they have to pay both their original fines and any court costs associated with their arrests.
Drivers who have had a ticket in the past year should make sure that they have paid in order to avoid finding themselves on the warrant list. Indeed, law enforcement agencies encourage people to come in early to spare themselves the trouble of being arrested as part of the Roundup.
Those who do find themselves arrested due to an outstanding misdemeanor ticket should be aware that they have the right to consult with an attorney about their case. For more information, consider speaking with an attorney with experience in handling cases involving traffic tickets.