Lesson 4: Don’t Ignore Traffic Tickets

From Strictly Legal section of How You Can Avoid Legal Land Mines by Joseph S. Lyles (2003)

Many people think that if they ignore a problem, it will just go away. That isn’t the case with traffic tickets. In this era of computers, the government keeps track of traffic tickets efficiently and they don’t just disappear.

When you ignore a traffic citation, the traffic court will try you in your absence, find you guilty of the offense and issue a warrant for failure appear. One day you might be cruising down the road and get pulled over for a minor violation. The police officer will run a check on your driving record and discover the bench warrant, and you will be arrested and taken into custody.

Likewise, if you receive a letter from the state department of highways or public safety notifying you that your driver’s license will be suspended, don’t ignore it. Immediately contact a lawyer to request a hearing. If you can show the hearing officer a good reason to do so, the suspension may be lifted or avoided.

There is never a good time to be arrested and taken to jail. Even if you are released on bail, it will definitely ruin your day.

The Lesson: Don’t ignore traffic tickets or you will be setting yourself up for a legal land mine.