In terms of the severity of a legal charge, a traffic ticket often rests at the bottom of the scale. Typically, with a traffic ticket, you can pay the fine or make an appearance in court, and the matter is settled. On the contrary, if you ignore a ticket, this minor issue can turn into a major problem.
Failure To Pay
If an officer issues you a violation, you have a couple of ways to handle the matter. You can pay the fine, or you can contact an attorney to argue on your defense. However, what you cannot do is ignore the matter. When you fail to pay a ticket, it does not simply expire and go away. The ticket will remain active, and whatever amount is due will only increase, as more fines are added to the penalty.
Failure To Appear
If you are charged with a higher severity moving violation, such as reckless driving, you may not have the option to pay the fine up front. You may be required to appear before a judge. If you are required to appear, similar to the previous scenario, you can hire an attorney to argue your defense on your behalf. However, if you do not appear or do not have an attorney do so on your behalf, you can face severe legal consequences.
Bench Warrant Issuance
One of the legal consequences that you could face if you fail to pay the fine or appear before the judge is the issuance of a bench warrant. A bench warrant has the same effect as a traditional warrant, in that, if you are caught, you will be arrested and taken to jail. The only difference is that instead of searching for you, a bench warrant is only activated if you make contact with an officer who runs a search on you.
Ideally, you should speak with a traffic attorney as soon as you are issued the ticket. However, if you have found yourself in a situation where a bench warrant has been issued against you, you must contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to facilitate a process in which you can turn yourself in voluntarily and pay the fine to resolve the matter. Without this option, you could be arrested and potentially face jail time.
If you have a traffic ticket that you have ignored, now is the time to speak with an attorney. To keep the matter from growing into something even more severe, be sure to contact an attorney, such as David A. Mansfield.