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Traffic Tickets

What to do if my traffic ticket is overdue?

Imagine going about your business one day and suddenly remembering that you never paid the speeding ticket you received a couple of months ago. You frantically pull the ticket out and see that the fine was due three weeks ago. Yikes!

It’s natural to panic in this situation: Missing your court date and failing to pay your traffic citation can lead to costly legal fees and probably a warrant for your arrest.

Luckily, not all hope is lost. Consulting with an experienced Louisiana traffic ticket attorney is the best way to handle this situation. Our team at Crescent City Law has been helping the New Orleans community fight traffic tickets for years, and we’d be honored to help you. Read on to get an idea of what that process will look like if your ticket is already overdue.

What happens if you ignore a New Orleans traffic ticket?

If you miss the court date on your ticket, you are technically in contempt of court.

The consequences for failing to appear include:

  • A warrant for your arrest!
  • A contempt of court fee of $50 or more, plus the cost of the ticket, plus any late fees associated with not paying the ticket on time.
  • The court can choose to suspend your driver’s license, which means you will have to apply for and pay to have it reinstated at the DMV–that’s on top of the contempt of court fees, the cost of the ticket, and any late fees you have already paid!
  • Your car can be booted or towed. If that happens, you’ll have to pay to get your vehicle back, and you’ll still be responsible for paying the ticket, the contempt of court fee, the driver’s license reinstatement fee, and any late fees you have incurred.
  • When you finally do go before a judge, you can expect them to scold you in open court for being irresponsible.
  • If you end up pleading guilty to the speeding ticket, the late payment and the suspension of your driver’s license will go on your driving record, thus adding points to your record and likely causing your car insurance premiums to rise.

What’s the worst case scenario for ignoring the New Orleans traffic ticket?

In worst-case scenario, you can be pulled over for an unrelated traffic infraction, and quickly end up in jail for failing to address the first ticket you received.

And that would be just your luck, right? Getting pulled over after missing your court date.

Unfortunately, it happens to more people than you’d think.

Let’s say you got a speeding ticket in Orleans Parish and never paid it or appeared in court. You get pulled over in St. Charles Parish for running a red light, at which time the officer runs your driver’s license information and sees a warrant, or an “attachment,” in Orleans Parish. 

The officer will arrest you and take you to jail in St. Charles Parish, but it’s a Saturday, so it takes two days for you to be transported to New Orleans to answer for the warrant issued by the New Orleans Traffic Court Judge. 

That’s three days in jail, all because you forgot to take care of a speeding ticket.

How can a New Orleans traffic attorney help?

If you ignored your traffic ticket and you’re faced with any of the above penalties, you should hire a traffic attorney to help with your case. 

A New Orleans traffic ticket lawyer is well-versed in local traffic laws and the penalties associated with your infractions. 

An attorney can help navigate the system, ask the judge to waive the contempt, ask the court to recall the warrant, negotiate a lesser fine, and possibly get some of the infractions removed from your record.

Contact Crescent City Law today

Don’t tempt fate. The lawyers at Crescent City Law are experienced with getting warrants recalled and contempt fines waived so you can avoid getting arrested, spending days in jail and spending money you shouldn’t have to. Contact Crescent City Law Firm to learn about your options by submitting your ticket online.

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