Skip to main content
J. Randell Stevens

J. Stevens’s Answers

24 total

  • Texas has levied a surcharge on 2 tickets which I have yet to be convicted

    can Texas make me pay a surcharge for 2 tickets even though I have yet to go to court and be convicted???

    J.’s Answer

    The other answers are correct if you are being popped for a surcharge. It's possible you are not, though.

    Texas has contracted with a private firm, Omnibase, to collect a $30 fee for any time you miss a court appearance. That can occur before a final conviction, and prefvents you from renewing your license. It does not suspend your license or make it invalid..

    Until it is paid all your license are belong to us. Sorry. Omnibase is not just a creepy name, it's creepy how fast they know you missed a court appearance. DPS is far slower. to correct things once the fee is paid.

    See question 
  • I was hit by a car.. I had a spine injury. My medical bills are about $95K. How much compensation can I expect?

    She was ticketed. I now have pain every day.

    J.’s Answer

    There are a lot of variables here so right at the outset let me say that you should at least consult with a local lawyer. And do NOT sign anything from the other driver's insurance company.

    Your compensation is for things like actual medical, lost wages, permanent injury, etc. There are other factors that a local lawyer can explain.

    But, if you are looking for a formula like "three times actual medical" there is no such thing. Your recovery is specific to your circumstances.

    See question 
  • I missed my court date for traffic violation in Dallas, Texas. What are my options now?

    I received a speeding ticket. I requested a court date and then forgot about the date until after it had passed. Courthouse has been closed for holidays since that time. What can i do now.....I'm sure a warrant has been issued.

    J.’s Answer

    If a warrant has issued you have three options (1) post a cash bond. It will be high enough to cover whatever fines may be imposed, although you can get back any amount not applied to the fine, or all of it if the case is dismissed. (2) hire an attorney to post a bond. you can usually get both a bond and representation for less than a cash bond. (3) See the judge and ask for a court date. Some courts will exercise their discretion this way, some won't. Even if you are denied you still have option 1 and 2 available.

    See question 
  • Do I need to hire a Lawyer to reduce this to a probation or is that a standard solution?

    I received a two traffic tickets while my license was suspended and now I have requested a hearing... I am potentially looking at a 1 year suspension unless I can get it probated.

    J.’s Answer

    Can't tell if you have a hearing on one of the tickets or a hearing to have your probation revoked and license suspended. Given what is at stake you really ought to at least consult with a local lawyer.

    See question 
  • Can my ticket still be dismissed?

    I took driver safety course, and i requested my drivers record...after 3 weeks my driver record still has not arrived, apparently they sent it to the wrong my due date has passed and still no driver record...can i still turn in what i...

    J.’s Answer

    Generally you have some time after the due date to comply. What you need to look for is the "show cause hearing" date. At that point you can attend and show that you received your driving record late and explain the circumstances.

    If you haven't gotten your copy yet go the Garland DPS office as they can provide you a copy on the spot. At least they have for years, but anything could change.

    If you no longer live at the address on your license then fix that while you are at Garland DPS.

    See question 
  • Speeding ticket <10% over limit in Houston. Can't do Driving Safety Course. Should we ask for deferred disposition or just pay?

    Since a conviction of speeding <10% over the speed limit carries no points, should we just pay the ticket? Just in case, heaven forbid, deferred disposition may be needed at a future date? 19 year old son had driving safety course within last few ...

    J.’s Answer

    Take the deferred disposition, knowing that he'll have to do a DSC anyway. In Texas, any driver under 25 who takes deferred also has to do the DSC. Texas doesn't have a points system by speed, just by offenses, so 5 over and 25 over are effectively the same. In other words, don't save the deferred, he needs it now. A conviction will cost him 15% more on his liability insurance for the next 3 years. At his age the costs of deferred are much less than that insurance bump.

    See question 
  • I got a ticket in may of 2009 for speeding, and i paid the court cost to do defensive driving but i didn't do it what can happen

    i paid the court fees but didn't do defensive driving because we ran into some family problems. can i just pay the balance and forget about it?

    J.’s Answer

    Depends. If the court has not yet held a "show cause hearing" you can still finish and have your case dismissed. If you "just pay the balance" it results in a conviction that will raise your insurance rates and may subject you to annual surcharges.

    See question 
  • Can I get Texas speeding ticket withdrawn because ticket says 65mph speed limit and all speed limit signs in the area say 70mph

    I got speeding ticket from Texas DPS on Highway 6 in Navasota, Tx. I was driving amongst traffic with cruise control on 74. I've driven the route many times & know speed limit is 70. Trooper pulled me over & said I was going 81 in 65 zone. I said ...

    J.’s Answer

    Two ways to help your case: pics of the 70 mph sign and a copy of the zoning at that location. 70 is the default speed by statute if it was daytime. If a local jurisdiction has altered it you'll need that law. DPS can write tickets anywhere so you'll need to know the city limits well enough to know if Navasota controls.

    Don't be too concerned about driving 74 if it really is zoned 70. Texas law requires that you drive in a reasonable and prudent manner; the zoned speed merely gives the state a "presumption" of unreasonableness. That means that if you don't testify that 74 on a state highway is entirely reasonable then the state wins. Your testimony is not conclusive, it won't guarantee a win, but it gives you a great defense.

    I don't practice down there but I'd love a case like yours and so would any local attorney who does traffic work. Or you can do it on your own. One thing to weigh here: is this a "court of record"? Call and see. If not you should fight the case on your own because even in a worst case scenario (you get convicted) you get a free shot to try again on appeal to the county court, and can hire a lawyer at that time. If it is a court of record then at least consult with a lawyer.

    See question 
  • Police Officer caught falsifying traffic instrument

    officer was caught in court, having doctored my ticket(top copy) can i sue for damages in court even w/ ticket dismissed. the judge said the statute for this is 2 years that they can still take the speeding ticket back in court. But should I be pr...

    J.’s Answer

    I'd be careful with this. There is a huge difference between fraud and a misunderstanding on your part of what actually occurred. I can't tell from our summary, but the fact that your copy and the officer's copy are different does not require fraud. In fact, it happens in some cases.

    For anything but a speeding ticket the difference is irrelevant: the state has to prove up the complaint, not the ticket. But since you got a speeding ticket then Section 543.010 means your copy has to match the complaint.

    Many times the officer will make notes on his copy that don't appear on yours; this is not fraud.

    If you still think fraud is in play then consult a civil lawyer within 2 years. Not sure what your harm is, but a civil lawyer can tell you more.

    See question 
  • Is it possible to prove that traffic tickets are the result of ID theft?

    A friend was arrested last night for "failure to ID" then she was told she had $4,500 from 14 traffic tickets in three cities, none of which she was aware of. She has been a victim of identity theft a couple of years ago when someone used her ID w...

    J.’s Answer

    Getting arrested for fail to ID as a witness is unusual, since it's a Class C misdemeanor, like a traffic ticket. More likely the arrest is based on warrants in her name.

    At the time of the ID theft did she get a flag put on her Texas drivers license? That will help. (And if not DO IT NOW!)

    One way to convince prosecutors that the wrong person is involved is to get the underlying tickets and see what the vehicle is in each offense. Then your friend's insurance agent can produce records showing that she insured different vehicles during the appropriate times. that's not a slam dunk, she could always be driving a friend's car, but it goes a long ways. In my experience it has been enough.

    Even if she resolves the old tickets successfully, don't assume the fail to ID has been dismissed; make sure she appears in time to dispute that one, too. In many cases these are issued incorrectly.

    See question