Many people don’t even know surcharges exist. However, if you receive a traffic ticket and pay the fine, you may be signing up for expensive surcharge fees that are imposed by the State of Texas. In Texas, surcharges obtain when you’re convicted of certain traffic violations. For example, if you receive a traffic ticket for not having valid insurance on your vehicle, your first inclination may be to go online, or run down to the courthouse, and pay the fine. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that, in so doing, they’ve resolved their obligations on the ticket. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When you pay the fine on a traffic ticket, you are convicted of the offense. Traffic ticket convictions are reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety. When the State of Texas receives notice that you’ve been convicted of a “no insurance” violation, a $250 surcharge is imposed for three years. To be clear, this surcharge is an additional $750 you’re required to pay, in addition to the fine you paid to the court. Failure to pay surcharges can result in the loss of driving privileges. In addition, multiple insurance violation convictions can cause your license to be suspended (i.e., separate and apart from the consequences you may suffer as a result of the surcharge fees).
The “no insurance” scenario is but one example of how you may incur surcharge fees. There are many others. For example, under some circumstances, a DWI conviction can result in a total of $6000 in surcharges! Unfortunately, most people have no idea that they’ve incurred surcharge fees until it’s too late to do anything about them. Don’t fall prey to Texas surcharges! If you’ve been cited for a traffic offense, or arrested for DWI, contact an attorney to insure that your rights are protected.