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If I pay off a ticket, can I avoid responding to a summons to Municipal court for failing to pay on a payment plan for a ticket?

Tomball, TX |

Ticket is a Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility in the state of Texas. I'm paying surcharges and during the process a I thought I had paid off my ticket already. The summons is for the ticket, not the surcharges which I'm paying on my final year. I really would rather just pay off the ticket and avoid court fees and possible additional fees due to an accidental lapse on this payment plan.

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Attorney answers 2


Call the Clerk of the Municipal Court. Verify that they have the ticket as paid.
Ask if you need to appear if you have already paid the ticket.

If he/she tells you that it has been paid and you do not need to appear, send a letter to the court telling them that this is what you were told. Ask them to let you know if any further appearance is needed.

If she either tells you that the ticket isn't shown as paid or that you have to appear, consult a local attorney right away.

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Think of the Frankenstein Monster: "RRRH! Pay(same as 'fire') . . . BAD!!!!" (and fight . . . good, come to that!) It will be OCT in less than 12 hrs. Some homes already have their Halloween decorations (?) up around here. Sheesh!

BUT, levity aside, you have already made an ugly bed, and it's time to go lie in it.

If you've plead guilty (and more than 1, 10 or 30 - depending - days have passed) , the only real way out is to pay the fine and costs. Paying fines and costs is entirely seperate from paying surcharges and omni fees.

Paying fines may mean you'll have to pay MORE surcharges, depending on what the offenses (like no insurance, no driver;s license etc) were, but doing the one won't satisfy, or avoid, the other.

So, paying the fine does not extinguish the surcharges, and instead my increase them. But you can't renew your license, and may therefore be exposed to DWLI/DWLS charges as long as the surcharges are delinquent.

The same is true of any OMNI fees. If you had a deadline to pay fines and costs, but didn't do so in time, you may owe OMNI fees too! Such a deal!!

So: the bottom line? You are going to have to PAY (fines and costs] and PAY [surcharges per your agreement with The Department] and maybe PAY omni fees [paid AT the court, but TO The Department] too! I did say: 'such a deal', right?

Next time, when the lights go out on the patrol car/truck, and you are free to leave, HEAD DIRECTLY TO YOUR ATTORNEY'S OFFICE. Give him/er a chance to do you some good. [plus, that way, you can just trash all those letters you start getting! you'll already HAVE an attorney] Do not pass GO! Do not let the ticket blow out the window. You'll be glad you did.

This answer is in the nature of general information only and does not constitute legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship.

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