Is There a Statute of Limitations on Traffic Tickets?
No, and ignoring traffic tickets can get you into a lot of trouble. Attempting to “wait out” your ticket can also really hurt you, because it limits your options.
When you get a ticket, you get a court date. If you choose to pay the ticket, you don’t have to go to court, but you of course pay the ticket, get points on your license, and watch your insurance rates skyrocket.
If you don’t pay the ticket you’re required to go to court, or you’re required to send a traffic ticket attorney to court on your behalf.
If you don’t, there will be a bench warrant for your arrest, and your license will be suspended. If you’re from New York, and then are pulled over in another state, that suspended license will still show up and the police officer will not allow you to stay on the road. Your car will be towed and you’ll be brought down to the police station.
If you’re planning on moving, it can be very difficult to get a license in your new state if you have a suspended license in the old one.
That bench warrant can sit indefinitely. If you live in-state, the police will likely show up to arrest you. If you live out-of-state it won’t come up again unless you’re driving in New York again, and happen to get pulled over.
That’s a bad situation, because that warrant will never expire.
Note that there are situations where people forget all about traffic tickets. In some cases if you voluntarily call the clerk, or even show up at the clerk’s office in person, you may be able to just pay the old ticket if you’re very polite and apologetic. You may also get arrested, at which point you’ll have to deal with the criminal justice system.
You’ll definitely want an attorney at that point, one who is both well-versed in traffic court matters and in misdemeanor criminal defense.
There’s also a chance you could luck out, and discover an amnesty program while it’s still valid and active. These programs let you come in during a certain period of time, pay your fines, and walk away with no further consequences.
The better part of valor is always to deal with your traffic ticket right away by calling a traffic ticket attorney. If you aren’t successful in court and wind up having to pay for a traffic violation (even a reduced traffic violation) then you should also plan on taking care of that right away.
Need help? Call Scott Russell Law today.