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Can a warrant be issued for an unpaid traffic ticket? Out of state driver.

Denver, CO |

I am an out of state driver from MA. I got a careless driving ticket because I hit a sign on the road in Trinidad CO. I reside in Aurora, CO but I'm not a resident(student status). These places are around 250 miles apart from each other .The fine is 478$ I pleaded guilty over the phone because I didn't want to drive out there just for court.

I'm aware of the drivers compact and reporting to my home state. My concern is warrants/arrests.

What happens if I don't pay the fine?

Will a warrant be issued?

If the warrant is issued will the police come to my apartment to take me to jail?

Will the Aurora police hold me and send me to Trinidad for court?

Also, these things happened under my MA license and plates. Last week I got some Texas plates and a Texas license how does this affect things, will they think I'm the same person?

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Attorney answers 4


If you do not pay the fine, a warrant will likely be issued for your arrest. The likelihood of the Trinidad Police coming to your home to arrest you is low. However, if you are stopped for any traffic violation, the police will run your driver's license and likely find this warrant. They will arrest you and hold you until Trinidad resolves the warrant.

Clearly, the simplest thing to do would be to pay the fine.

Best of luck to you.

No answer here should be considered to form an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction so that a full evaluation of the facts of your case can be conducted.


You are responsible to answer the ticket and if you plead guilty to pay the fine. You can be arrested and I think you will be, especially if you are caught driving in Colorado.

To answer the questions you asked.
What happens if I don't pay the fine? A warrant for your arrest will issue.

Will a warrant be issued? Yes

If the warrant is issued will the police come to my apartment to take me to jail? They can, They can also arrest you if you are in a traffic stop. Police outside of the state can arrest you on that warrant can arrest you on the warrant in their states as well.

Will the Aurora police hold me and send me to Trinidad for court? Yes. That isn't your biggest problem. Lets say you are driving back to MA and you get stopped in NY. NY sees the warrant. It will hold you until Trinidad extradites you. YOu could do as much as a couple of months waiting for that to happen and you are held without bail.

Do yourself a favor and pay the fine.

Good luck.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for information purposes. Since the facts of each case are different, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under an attorney-client privilege, so that competent advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions.


Pay the fine. The financial cost is high, but not as high as the cost of being arrested.

Eventually, you will get pulled over for something. (I was recently pulled over because I had a headlight out and didn't know it.)

Then there is the emotional cost. Do you want to be worried all the time. Right now you are playing a version of Russian Roulette. You must avoid the police all the time. They will only need to find you once.

Legal disclaimer: We at the Joffe Law FIrm wish to help you. While the above answer is intended to provide general information only, does constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship, we strongly suggest that you seek legal counsel.


If you pled guilty then you're responsible for the fine. As far as you residing in Colorado, an outstanding judgment warrant can be issued against you if you don't pay the fine. At that point clearing up an unpaid ticket costs an additional $30.00 for the OJW plus the cost of the ticket. If you don't pay, a bench warrant can issue against you. The OJW will be reported to the DMV and if stopped by police while driving, you can be cited with DUR, driving under restraint or driving without a valid license. It is doubtful that the police will pick you up at your apartment but you run the risk of being "picked up" and cited with more violations if you continue to drive without taking care of the ticket.

Although CO is a member of the Interstate Drivers License Compact, MA is not. However, all the states have access to info regarding drivers license through the NDR, national drivers registry. State driver licensing officials query the NDR to determine if an individual's license or privilege to drive a motor vehicle has been withdrawn by any State. If an individual's driving privilege is withdrawn in the State in which he/she is licensed or in another State(s), he/she will not be able to obtain a license or learner's permit until the individual has satisfied the suspension(s) within the State of Record.

So, if you don't pay the CO careless driving ticket you will have a restraint against your driving privilege which will put you at risk for more traffic tickets if you continue to drive in CO. If you choose to drive and are stopped even for a minor traffic offense you can be cited and arrested. If you took this risk repeatedly you could theoretically accumulate enough violations to be categorized as a Habitual Traffic Offender which has numerous serious consequences.

Depending on the policies of the DMV officials when your MA license has expired and is due to be renewed, you may have a problem because of the CO Outstanding Judgment Warrant.

I suggest you contact an attorney.

Best Regards,

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