unpaid ticket becomes a warrant
Criminal Law

How Long Before An Unpaid Ticket Becomes A Warrant?

| June 17, 2023

Traffic tickets can be irritating for all. If you are given a traffic ticket, you might be thinking of not paying for it. 

But before you make the decision not to pay the fine, you might consider the consequences that might follow for non-payment of fines. 

If you have been issued a traffic ticket, there is a high chance that you have committed a mistake while driving. 

In this article, we will discuss the time period that leads to an unpaid ticket of becoming a warrant. 

Ways An Unpaid Ticket Becomes A Warrant?

An unpaid ticket will become a warrant if you have not paid the fine until court day. 

If you have not paid the fine or have not appeared in court on the day of the hearing, a ‘bench warrant’ will be issued against you by the bench within 24 hours. 

An additional charge of ‘failure to appear’ would also be pressed against you for an unpaid ticket. 

Forgetting about a ticket is very common as there are no reminders from law enforcement regarding the payment of fines. An arrest acts as a reminder that you are yet to pay your fine for an underpaid ticket. 

Unpaid tickets are seriously taken by law enforcement and courts in the United States. This is because having an arrest against your name has substantial circumstances. 

Failure to respond to the fines imposed against you will not lead you to have further fines or the disappearance of the issue altogether. But it will worsen the situation even more. 

If it has been many years since you have been issued a ticket, the warrant will still be active. This is till you have paid the fine or have served the term mentioned in the ticket. 

Courts do not have specific deadlines within which they have the capacity to issue an affidavit. This means they have legal means to use their discretion for executing an affidavit. 

Each state has specific penalties associated with unpaid traffic tickets. 

Penalties For Failure To Appear: Texas

A warrant will usually be issued in your name if you have failed to appear on the court date or before that. 

This means if you have failed to appear on the date of appearance regarding your ticket, you will be issued a warrant. 

In most cities and counties of Texas, you have a time limit of 10 days from the day of issuance of your ticket for the purpose of contacting your court. 

There are many regions within Texas that allow more than 10 days for acting on the issued ticket. But it is advisable that you make use of the 10 days rule for acting on the ticket. 

So, if you are a resident of Texas and have not appeared in court or have paid the fine, you are reliable for getting a warrant that would be later trialed by a judge. 

This is because the judge has the capacity to review the file and determine documents for signing a warrant at any time. 

So, a case from beginning to end can lead to a warrant as soon as 2 weeks after getting a ticket in Texas. 

You are advised to pay the fine for your traffic ticket to avoid further legal consequences while being in the state of Texas. 

How Long Before An Unpaid Ticket Becomes A Warrant In Louisiana?

In the state of Louisiana, you have a time limit of 15 days from the date of issuance to act on the ticket. If you do not pay the fine or appear in court within 15 days, the ticket will become a warrant. 

Unlike other states in the United States, Louisiana does not have any point system for tracking your driver’s license for traffic-related violations. 

However, every ticket that is issued is reported to The Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles.’ They keep track of every issued driving license in the state. 

On the other hand, the driving records are viewable by credit agencies and insurance companies across Louisiana. Due to this, if you have bad driving records, it could lead to higher insurance premiums and bad credit scores. 

But, the most vital aspect of this system is that if you are pulled up by any police officer in this state. They will have information regarding your unpaid ticket. 

This state also has the capacity to provide a 30 days extension regarding the payment of the issued ticket. 

The District Attorney provides the same, and if you have not been able to pay the fine during this extension, it will lead to the suspension of the license. 

So, it is advised to you that you act on your ticket within 15 days of issuance to avoid greater consequences that can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license in Louisiana. 

And It’s A Wrap On Unpaid Tickets Turning Warrants!

Now you have gained knowledge regarding the time by when your unpaid ticket can turn into a warrant, especially in Texas and Louisiana. 

Firstly, you are advised that you drive responsibly on roads to avoid the issuance of traffic tickets. Driving safely would allow you to avoid this issue altogether. 

However, if you have still been issued a traffic ticket, it is advisable that you act on it within 10-15 days of its issuance. 

If you are unable to pay the fine for your traffic ticket, it might lead to greater legal consequences like serving a term in county jail or suspension of your driving license altogether. 

So, if you have any confusion regarding the payment of fines regarding your traffic ticket, you are advised to get advice from a professional traffic citation defense attorney from your region.

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Jyoti Jha
Jyoti Jha

Jyoti Jha is a freelance SEO content writer for tech , health, and education-related content. With 5 years of experience in the industry, I am creating high-quality content that captivates readers and delivers value.


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