I would contact a criminal defense attorney in TN to review the file and advise you. If you don't pay a court ordered fine, generally the court can issue a warrant for your arrest and notify the DMV to suspend your drivers license until paid. I don't know about this county in TN, but I would not ignore it.
I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..
It sounds like the judge may have dismissed the case upon payment of court costs. In any event, because of a new law passed by the Tennessee legislature a couple of years ago, your driver license may automatically be suspended if you do not pay fine and court costs within one year from when the judge orders you to pay them. You should contact an attorney that regularly practices in the court where you had your case.
Any information provided is intended for general informational purposes only. This is NOT legal advice, and no attorney/client relationship has been created. You should consult directly with an attorney to obtain answers to any legal questions.
If the case was "dismissed on costs", then the individual with the dismissed case should indeed pay the costs as soon as possible. As another attorney in this forum noted, Tennessee has passed a law permitting the DMV to suspend the driver's license of any person with unpaid costs after one year. Moreover, most state DMV's have comity, and honor one another's suspensions, so this could impact an out-of-state license. If costs remain unpaid, the State will also turn the account over to a collection agency much earlier than a year, leading to late fees, collection costs, damage to credit, and other bad consequences. Finally, if there was a "fine" (as opposed to costs), then there may have been a conviction or some other part of the disposition that the defendant did not understand. It would be advisable to discuss these matters with the attorney who handled the case, to retain another local attorney to review the file, or at least to get the records from the clerk's office to ensure understanding of what occurred and to pay everything. Finally, if the case was dismissed, the person should definitely file for expungement (or have an attorney do so) so as to remove the case from public records, but this can only be done after all costs are paid.
The author provides answers on this site based on hypothetical questions and fact patterns. The answers provided are for general educational and informational purposes only, and they do not constitute legal advice, which would require a personal consultation and representation agreement. Questions and answers on this site do not create an attorney-client relationship, and the communications are not privileged. Any citizen with a legal issue should consult personally with an attorney and should rely only on legal advice provided in a formal attorney-client relationship.
The short answer is maybe. You should hire an attorney who practices in the county where you had to appear in court. That attorney would likely be able to help you quickly. There is a chance that they could get the fee waived and your record expunged.