The Beltz Law Firm
Have you ever thought: “Its just a ticket, I will just pay it. What could it hurt?!”
Here is the true story of a client who let things get too far!
A young lady came into our office when she received a letter in the mail from the Department of Public Safety threatening to suspend her drivers license for one year because she drove while her license was invalid. She was unaware that her license was ever invalid and here is why. Several years ago, she left Dallas to attend college elsewhere in Texas. While she was a student, her auto insurance lapsed (she thought her mom and dad were taking care of it and they thought she was taking care of it). Not having proof of valid insurance on the date she received the ticket, she assumed she had no choice but to pay the fine. That is exactly what she did.
After college she returned to Dallas where she was pulled over and cited for a defective license plate light. Again, she assumed she had no options and paid the ticket. Then, she received the notification from DPS that she was going to lose her license.
Little did she know that by paying the no insurance ticket, she was pleading guilty and she ended up with a conviction on her record. That conviction for no insurance automatically assessed an annual surcharge on her license which she failed to pay (she wasn’t getting her mail while away in college). Because she failed to pay the surcharge, her license became in invalid pending payment of the surcharges.
When she paid the subsequent ticket for defective tail lights, she essentially admitted that she was operating a motor vehicle while her license was invalid. Therefore, DPS attempted to suspend her license for one year!
Fortunately, she came to our office as soon as she received the suspension notification and we were able to schedule a hearing with the justice of the peace court in her jurisdiction and successfully prevented her license from being suspended.
The moral of the story: DO NOT JUST PAY YOUR TICKETS!!!! You never know what consequences may result from pleading guilty, even to simple non moving violations, e.g., defective tail lights.
If you have been contacted by DPS and are about to lose your license, time is of the essence!! Contact our office so we may fight to keep your license valid and keep you on the road legally.
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