Are you liable for a fine related to unpaid traffic tickets from over 7 years ago and you missed the court date.

Asked over 5 years ago - Phillipsburg, NJ

A family member owes $580.00 in traffic tickets from 1999. He did not pay the tickets and a court date was scheduled in 2002. 7/11/09 he was stopped for walking out of a store that had been previously robbed. When the office ran a check he seen that he was held in contempt of court for missing the date. He is being held pending payment of the $580.00 fine. Is this legal. It seems illegal that he was even stopped by the police

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Howard Woodley Bailey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Yes it is legal, for an officer to walk up to someone and ask them questions. There are circumstances where the stop becomes illegal, but based on the facts you provided, there is not enough to make this evaluation. (I would want to see the police reports to see what they are saying happened, as that would control the type of argument or motion I would make). In regards to the hold on the contempt, in most circumstances the Judge would want to see the person in front of them before deciding what to do with this charge. If you are able, pay the fines and consult with an experienced defense lawyer before he goes to Court to see what the best options are to resolve this situation. Good Luck.

    Disclaimer
    This information is offered for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice and you should not rely upon it to decide how to resolve this issue. No Attorney-Client relationship is intended or established by this response. You are faced with a situation where you need to consult with an experienced defense lawyer admitted to practice law in NJ before you make any decisions as to how to resolve this issue.

  2. Ric Futerfas

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . Your family member never paid his fines from 1999 and is now being held in contempt. That's how it works. If you owe money to a municipal court in NJ or you don't appear it should be no surprise that a warrant would issue for your arrest. If your question goes to the time that has elapsed and whether he should still be accountable for something that goes back so many years the answer is equally obvious. I am frequently asked whether there is a statute of limitations for such issues. "Hey, its been eight years since I got this ticket (or received these fines), isn't there a statute of limitations?' The statute of limitations refers to the time that elapses between the alleged offense and the charge. Your family member was presumably charged at the time he committed the offense back in 1999 so there is no statute of limitations issue. They do not enact laws that would encourage or allow someone to abscond and avoid Courts and by so doing avoid punishment.

  3. Ric Futerfas

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Your family member never paid his fines from 1999 and is now being held in contempt. That's how it works. If you owe money to a municipal court in NJ or you don't appear it should be no surprise that a warrant would issue for your arrest. If your question goes to the time that has elapsed and whether he should still be accountable for something that goes back so many years the answer is equally obvious. I am frequently asked whether there is a statute of limitations for such issues. "Hey, its been eight years since I got this ticket (or received these fines), isn't there a statute of limitations?' The statute of limitations refers to the time that elapses between the alleged offense and the charge. Your family member was presumably charged at the time he committed the offense back in 1999 so there is no statute of limitations issue. They do not enact laws that would encourage or allow someone to abscond and avoid Courts and by so doing avoid punishment.

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