If you’ve received a traffic citation, you may have more than just the fine to worry about. Traffic ticket convictions can lead to Texas surcharges. If you’re convicted of a traffic ticket, the Texas Department of Public Safety may impose Texas surcharge fees, in addition to any fines you may be ordered to pay to the court. At the time the court fines are levied, no one will tell you about the pending surcharges. Rather, at a later time, you will receive a letter from the state, indicating that these Texas surcharge fees are
due and owing. Failure to pay these fees within thirty days will result in a driver license suspension.
Unfortunately, if you’ve moved since you updated your driver license, you may not receive this surcharge notice. As a result, your driver license may be suspended without your actual knowledge of the suspension. Nevertheless, you may lose your license in this fashion. If you’re unfortunate enough to have this sequence of events befall you, you’ll likely be cited for driving with a suspended license the next time you’re stopped by the police. If you simply pay the fine for this offense, your license could be suspended for an additional period of time, and you will incur… MORE surcharges!
The following is a list of Texas surcharges you can expect to pay for certain offenses. The Texas surcharges listed below must be paid annually, for three years, for these charges:
DWI/1st offense: $1,000 annually for 3 years.
DWI/blood alcohol content greater than 0.15: $2,000 annually for 3 years.
DWI/2nd offense: $1,500 annually for 3 years.
FMFR (no insurance ticket conviction): $250 annually for 3 years.
DWLI (driving w/invalid license conviction): $250 annually for 3 years.
No drivers license conviction: $100 annually for 3 years.
Again, these Texas surcharges are imposed by the Texas Department of Public Safety, IN ADDITION TO any fines and/or court costs imposed by the court! However, Texas surcharges my be avoidable. Frequently, an attorney can bring about a disposition of your case that will avoid the imposition of these Texas surcharges. Did you plead “guilty” or “no contest” to traffic tickets while in jail? A recent change in Texas law allows your lawyer to file a motion for new trial within ten days of your convictions, causing them to be set aside, and thereby avoiding surcharges. There a number of other possible outcomes that an attorney may be able to obtain for you, any of which will allow you to forego the imposition of surcharges. Remember, in many cases, Texas surcharges can be avoided!