The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-19-2004, 01:59 PM
Ender_Will Ender_Will is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Unpaid traffic ticket in another state

A little while ago, I took a road trip with a couple of friends, during which one of them got a speeding ticket in Wyoming. For a variety of reasons (mainly being lazy and unorganized) the ticket never got paid, and the court date was last Friday. What's going to happen, and will it come back to haunt him? Unpaid tickets go to warrant, but since we live in California, would a warrant for unpaid traffic fines in Wyoming really matter?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-19-2004, 02:46 PM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 41,131
They are starting to swap this sort of file nowadays. I seriously doubt Wyoming would send a deputy down to extradite your friend, but when he goes to renew his driver's license he might find a little note saying he has to clear the Wyoming ticket first.

FWIW, I've had an outstanding speeding ticket warrant from New Mexico hanging over my head since 1990. I've never heard a peep about it from anybody.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-19-2004, 03:08 PM
Carol the Impaler Carol the Impaler is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: ibpka
Posts: 3,815
Here's my anecdote:

I got a speeding ticket outside of Grosse Tete, LA in 1990. I blew it off, because hell, I was living in Texas and driving on a Nebraska license, so who gives a hoot?

Many months after I blew it off the fine had grown to several hundred dollars, and the state of Louisiana notified the state of Nebraska and the state of Nebraska sent me a notice that they were going to take my driver's license!

Apparently, Louisiana is a compact (?) state with Nebraska. They share that kind of info.

So blowing it off instead of just paying the fine really screwed me over. I had to pay 300-some-odd dollars instead of 70-something plus I had to go through administrative hell to get a new driver's license (the cop in LA took my license. LA then sent it to Texas as I had a Texas address, and Texas sent it back to Nebraska as the license had a Nebraska address on it and then it disappeared).

So, I'd wanna find out if Wyoming is going to notify California...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-19-2004, 03:35 PM
Burrido Burrido is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Had a similar incident happen. About 8 years ago I got a ticket out in wisconsin. Going to court to fight it, I was told to pay it or have my liscense susupended in wisconsin. Heck, I figured, how often do I drive in Wisconsin? Never. So I left the ticket unpaid. Well, it came back to bite me because when I went to renew my liscense I was told to get the original ticket in Wisconsin taken care off. I had moved since then and now had to drive all the way back into Wisconsin to take care of the ticket which was only about 150 bucks more then what it was when it was originally issued. Pay the ticket.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-19-2004, 03:43 PM
Burrido Burrido is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Forgot to mention. Since I waited so long, my liscense in Wisconsin actually got revoked. So after I paid the fine for the original ticket, I had to go and reinstate my liscense. Well, after two years, you have to take a road test again. So I had to schedule a road test, passed it, brought it back to the DMV and got my liscense renewed, went back to minnesota and got my new liscense. Fun.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-19-2004, 04:02 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 11,584
How about parking tickets? I got a parking ticket on a trip to New York City, and now back home in Virginia I may or may not remember to pay it. Does New York get Virginia's help in enforcing parking tickets? Obviously not in the same class as speeding tickets, but still I would like to know.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-19-2004, 05:07 PM
GorillaMan GorillaMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
The only thing I remember about a crappy docusoup following baillifs in London was one of the bailiffs actually getting a speeding fine - from his holiday in New Zealand, and his first reaction was "Why can't we do that?!?"
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-19-2004, 05:23 PM
mks57 mks57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Bench Warrants

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomo Mojo
How about parking tickets? I got a parking ticket on a trip to New York City, and now back home in Virginia I may or may not remember to pay it. Does New York get Virginia's help in enforcing parking tickets? Obviously not in the same class as speeding tickets, but still I would like to know.
Everywhere I've lived, unpaid tickets, whether for parking or moving violations, eventually turn into bench warrants if not paid. You don't want those things outstanding for the next 50 years.

One of my more unpleasant childhood memories was watching my father being arrested for outstanding bench warrants after a routine traffic stop. They took him downtown, where he was offered the choice of paying all the tickets and penalties on the spot or going to jail.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-19-2004, 05:43 PM
InternetLegend InternetLegend is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 3,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus
FWIW, I've had an outstanding speeding ticket warrant from New Mexico hanging over my head since 1990. I've never heard a peep about it from anybody.
This is more likely due to the complete inefficiency and ineptitude with which New Mexico conducts its official affairs than any kind of leniency.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-19-2004, 05:44 PM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 41,131
Quote:
Originally Posted by InternetLegend
This is more likely due to the complete inefficiency and ineptitude with which New Mexico conducts its official affairs than any kind of leniency.
Whatever works....ya know?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-19-2004, 05:56 PM
testride testride is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
In many big-city jurisdictions, parking tickets are considered civil violations. The DMV can hold up your registration renewal, impose fines and penalties and put a boot on your car, even impound it, but they aren't going to arrest you. But any moving violation is a criminal charge, and when you get the citation you are essentially being released on your own recognizance. If you don't pay it or go to court your driving privileges in that state are almost always automatically suspended, even if they don't issue an arrest warrant. Then, down the road, if you are ever stopped in that state again, or if a cop just runs your plates while you're stopped at a light, you get arrested for driving on a suspended license. And as an out-of-state driver who thumbed his nose at a previous ticket, they will probably take you in and impound your car. Personally, I wouldn't want to take that chance.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-19-2004, 06:44 PM
dalej42 dalej42 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,938
You really, really don't want to do this. The other state wants you to do this. They thrive on you doing this. Clearing up a mess from a speeding ticket in another state that you don't pay can easily cost one thousand dollars. It is a criminal violation. You really, really, really don't want to do this. Plus, when you're stopped at any time, with this as an open violation, the police will search your car with a fine (read VERY fine) tooth comb. Ohio (with a hurting economy and declining revenue) loves speeding ticket revenue. You may very well have been stopped with those out of state plates shining brightly. They will not forget. They will attempt to extract the highest penalty allowed by law. Wyoming wants that money. They will get it.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-19-2004, 08:54 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Voting anti-obamanation
Posts: 10,300
FWIW, these are called reciprocity agreements between differing states. My license in PA can be revoked for an unpaid ticket in VA. Also, a moving violation in VA, even if I've paid the ticket, may result in assessment of points against my license as if the violation had taken place in PA. There has been a push to get all states on the same page regarding CDLs, as many drivers used to hold multiple licenses in different states owing to numerous violations. That has pretty well been eliminated, so with that infrastructure in place, non CDL operators are a logical jump.
__________________
Crows. Keeping our highways clear of roadkill for over 80 years
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-19-2004, 09:30 PM
commasense commasense is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 5,171
Last year I went to renew my Maryland driver's license and found that it was held up for a speeding ticket I had gotten in Massachusetts 10 years ago and had ignored all that time.

On the plus side, Massachusetts was very efficient in collecting the fine: I called them from the MVA and they took my credit card on the spot. The downside was that it cost me $170 (which, based on what others here have said, apparently isn't as bad as it might have been), and I still had to go back to the MVA a week later, after the payment had cleared the computers.

The odd thing is that I had renewed the license at least once since getting the ticket, so this computer connection the states have made is a fairly recent thing. It's also not universal: I got a ticket in Ohio eight years ago that hasn't caught up with me. Yet.

So the short answer is, like everyone else has said, pay the ticket now.

Eugene McCarthy once said that "The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency." So, frankly, I'm a little scared at how efficient these frigging bureaucracies are getting.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-19-2004, 11:31 PM
rackensack rackensack is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
In the winter of 1992, I got a speeding ticket in Alabama. When I got back to Georgia, I mailed off a money order to the county court in the county where it happened, and thought no more of it. I allowed my Georgia drivers license to expire in Jan 1993, since I was never driving in those days. In the fall of 1993, when I had occasion to start driving again, I went to renew my license, only to discover that my license had been suspended because of an unpaid ticket in Alabama. By that time, I'd lost the receipt for the money order, so I had to shell out for a new one and pay an additional fine for being late with the payment. I also had to get a letter from the court in Alabama that the fines had been paid before I was able to renew my license.

If you don't pay it, you can generally expect that the best-case scenario is something similar to mine. Worst case would be that you'd get pulled over for some other reason and the cop would find out during the routine check that you were driving on a suspended license, which could well lead to a trip to jail and the vehicle being impounded (this did happen to a roommate of mine one day -- I had to go down and bail him out later that evening).
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-20-2004, 12:45 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 22,840
Used to be you were safe- although you'd have to stay out of that state for ten years or so. Now, as the above posters have said- you are likely in trouble. Try and get it fixed now, I don't think it is really too late.

Unpaid parking tickets are pretty safe to blow off (when they are in another State).
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-20-2004, 12:54 AM
Black Train Song Black Train Song is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Yeah, sorry but almost ten years ago we all got stopped for driving snowmobiles on a NY state hwy (I have a PA liscence). I was the only one who produced a liscence and was consequentially the only one who wasn't ticketed.

So far, nobody (including my wife) has had any trouble with not paying the fine.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-20-2004, 09:13 PM
mischievous mischievous is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,162
Actually, New York is incredibly aggressive about getting parking tickets paid. They have reciprocity agreements with practically the entire eastern seaboard, and probably some other states, too. If you are in New York, they have a fleet of hungry marshalls and sheriffs towing cars owned by those with overdue tickets - and it typically only takes a couple of days after you've passed the towing minimum for them to find you (if you park on the street). They'll hold up your registration in other states for overdue parking tickets. I don't think they can influence your diver's licence, though.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-21-2004, 12:08 AM
Ender_Will Ender_Will is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
OK, thanks everybody.
I'm glad I asked this, since we'd all assumed that nothing would have come of it provided he didn't get pulled over in Wyoming again, and since he has no reason to ever go back there, the odds of that are mighty slim. I'll get on his case to pay it.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.