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What we think . . .

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Barry D. Kowitt is one of the founding partners at Unger & Kowitt, where they have helped over 500,000 people fight back. 

In this blog, he shares with you his views on the traffic ticket system, as well as providing traffic ticket solutions that really work, no gimmicks. Hint: saying "my car doesn't go that fast" isn't going to cut it.


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What happens if you don't pay a speeding ticket?


what happens if you don't pay a speeding ticketThese days it seems everyone is busier than ever.  Perhaps that's why the number of speeding tickets issued goes up every year.   

Want to know what else keeps going up every year?  Speeding tickets that result in driver license suspensions. 

Continuing the Q and A, I've got one more question for you.  Want to know what happens if you don't pay a speeding ticket?  You guessed it, your driver's license will be suspended. 

"So what" you say, "It's no big deal" you continue. 

Please allow me to set you straight.  In all my years of helping people with their traffic ticket related issues, one of the biggest shocks for people is when they discover what can happen when a "simple" traffic ticket gets ignored and how quickly it turns into a "major" problem.

When you receive a traffic ticket in Florida, you are given 30 days to decide what to do.  You can read all about your options in my post "what you should do when you get a speeding ticket" where I explain the things you should consider to help you make the best choice for you.  It's a pretty easy decision after knowing your options.  For most people, the best choice is to fight the ticket.  The worst choice, and the choice that is not even listed is to DO NOTHING.  Because by doing nothing, the state will suspend your license, which can cause you to get arrested and thrown in jail. 

Yes, you read that correctly.  Not paying a speeding ticket will result in your driver's license being suspended.  This means, the next time you get stopped by the police (for any reason), you can get thrown in jail.  In addition to being thrown in jail (and feeling like an idiot that you let something so silly like an unpaid speeding ticket land you in jail), you will receive a criminal ticket for "driving on a suspended license." 

See how quickly things are getting out of control?  One minute you are driving on your way to a job interview, you get pulled over because your brake light stopped working (remember, it doesn't matter what the officer stops you for) and as soon as the officer runs your license, you can forget about that job interview and start thinking of your one phone call.  You're headed to the "big house," all because you didn't pay or fight that speeding ticket

"This can't be happening," you start saying to yourself.  Unfortunately, it is happening.  It's happening thousands of times a year in South Florida.  Don't let it happen to you.

Do yourself a favor.  The next time you get a speeding ticket, don't ignore it. 

Read my article on how to fight a speeding ticket in court, and if you want to hire a lawyer, make sure you know the 5 questions you should ask before you hire a lawyer for a traffic ticket.  If you just want to pay it, (even though that's almost always a bad option), you can always do that, it's still better than doing nothing.  I'd hate to have you waste your one phone call on me.



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some 15 yrs ago i had an RTA in Florida hit Florida ice and trashed a mpv i did not pay my fine and came home. 
now i have to work in Florida will i get busted on entry? will i be ok if i dont drive  
thanks for any help
Posted @ Wednesday, June 12, 2013 4:57 AM by steve manning
Generally, not paying a traffic ticket will result in your license being suspended which will not cause a warrant for your arrest. If you are caught driving, it will be for driving on a suspended license and you will probably get a ticket for it and have to clear the matter up. The best thing to do is try to clear up the suspension before you drive (or before you get caught).  
We can help you with that. If you would like a FREE consultation, please call us at 800-489-4125. 
Posted @ Saturday, June 15, 2013 1:48 PM by Barry Kowitt
thanks Barry for your reply 
fingers crossed i fly to Miami in the am. 
i wont be driving whilst the im working (mending boats)and wont have to 
i will put your number in my mobile just in case 
thanks again 
Posted @ Monday, June 17, 2013 3:10 PM by steve mannning
I received a speeding ticket while headed to Jacksonville, fla. The fine was paid late. I am a Georgia resident but plan on moving to the Fort Walton Beach area soon. Will this effect anything or will I have anything to worry about as well as have any issues with receiving a Florida residents license?
Posted @ Tuesday, August 13, 2013 2:57 AM by K
Thanks for the question on the blog. I'm not sure you said where you received the ticket. Was it in Florida or in Georgia? It sounds like you have a GA license and you received the ticket in FL. The late fee will probably have to get paid when you apply for your FL license, but if they don't say anything, I would consider it a lucky break and be thankful. 
Posted @ Wednesday, August 14, 2013 4:23 PM by Barry Kowitt
I forgot to pay it but plan to pay it on monday frist thing in the morning am i safe now or i shouldnt drive till i pay it.
Posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 10:38 PM by mariza
Thanks for the question. Unfortunately, you didn't give me enough information to fully answer your question. You stated that you forgot to pay your ticket, but you never said when it was "due." You can also pay many things online, but you didn't say what county your ticket was from. Sorry. I just need more information. 
Posted @ Saturday, August 17, 2013 11:51 AM by Barry Kowitt
i got a ticket like two years ago and i didnt pay it and it was in flordia now what do i do? as i never recieve any information because i lost my ticket the same day i had to fly back to the uk. 
Now i wish to return to the states and scared to do so, not quite sure what to do. Any help out there.
Posted @ Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:08 PM by oreos
Hi, I have a Illinois license and got a speeding ticket in Ohio (driving 73mph in 60mph limit). I have to pay by Sep 17 or appear in court on Sep 17 - Ofcourse I cannot go 200 odd miles to appear in court. I guess I should just pay the fine but if I dont pay- does it affect my Illinois license and other credit information etc? If there is any other option, please suggest. 
Posted @ Tuesday, September 03, 2013 11:57 AM by Nilesh
SO if I am a few days to week late , they wont arrest me? I am freaking out cus I have no money and trying to get 129$ together lol I have a baby , i cant get thrown in jail
Posted @ Thursday, September 12, 2013 12:47 PM by Emily
My wife got a speeding ticket out of state (Arkansas). It was in June and was $197. Since she forgot about it now they want $413 plus another $100 to reinstate license. You thought Florida was bad!
Posted @ Monday, October 07, 2013 4:30 PM by Robert
Ouch! That's awful. It's such a shame that these politicians look to traffic matters to erase the terrible mistakes they make with our money.
Posted @ Monday, October 07, 2013 4:32 PM by Barry Kowitt
Hi! So I got my speeding ticket on the 14th last month. If I pay the fine on the 14th of this month, is that considered late?
Posted @ Sunday, October 13, 2013 4:16 PM by Nick
Unfortunately, adding a month and assuming you will be on time isn't a great idea. If there is no date on the bottom of the ticket, you may want to go online and look or call the clerk to verify. 
Posted @ Monday, October 14, 2013 9:50 AM by Barry Kowitt
I am a uk resident and I got a speeding ticket in collier county way back in February and lost the ticket and subsequently never paid it. I am returning to the states on Saturday, will I get stopped at customs/immigration and be asked about this?
Posted @ Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:20 PM by Lewis
I don't think this will be a problem for you with customs/immigration, but you might want to log on to the Collier County clerk of court website and see if you can take care of it. 
Posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 6:03 PM by Barry Kowitt
I got a speeding ticket for doing ,24 over in mcintosh county georgia when i was 17.. i was with a buddy on spring break who was also 17.. i got a ticket, was told to call the number for the price on the fine. 720 dollar speeding ticket. I am not making this up... i was a senior in high school never planned on returning so i through the ticket away. This was april of 2011.... two months later i enlisted in the ARMY.. i knew of the ticket and knew i wouldnt be shipped to Ft.Benning GA if i had warrants ANYWHERE . MY recuriter and I called the county ovet and over to check for warrants and fines. They said they had nothing on record. And assumed the officer didnt realize i was a minor but wrote that ticket anyways on accident. So once they found out they probably scrapped it. Nothing was said again. ... three days ago i got a letter from collections from mcintosh county saying i now owe them 1,029 dollars for a speeding ticket..... what can i do....
Posted @ Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:45 PM by Kevin Thomas
I received a ticket back on July 8th for parking next to a handicap zone. I went to court about it on Sept 11, 2013. The judge lowered my fine because of the reason for it, and ordered me to pay the ticket by 11/10/2013. I realized that that was on a Sunday and Monday is a holiday so I said to myself "how can I pay it on a weekend day or holiday". So I read the fine again and it states must be received by 11/10/2013, so does this mean I am late? What will happen to me? Will my Lic be suspended. I plan to pay it first thing Tuesday 11/12/2013.
Posted @ Monday, November 11, 2013 5:11 AM by Kimberly
I doubt your license will be suspended. It will probably go into "delinquent status" for a while and then get suspended. But if you pay on Tues, you should be fine. Although you will probably have to pay a late fee. 
Good Luck. 
Posted @ Monday, November 11, 2013 4:04 PM by Barry Kowitt
Barry, i was wondering if i could get a reply sir. Thank you for your time
Posted @ Monday, November 11, 2013 4:46 PM by Kevin
Sorry for the delay. Here's the problem. I don't practice in GA, so I can't comment on what goes on there. However, my guess from what you wrote is that the ticket did not get thrown out. The fact that you were 17 doesn't play into it. If you were old enough to drive, you were old enough to get a traffic ticket.  
When you chose not to pay it, the county eventually notified their collection agency. In FL, no warrant would be issued (which, if the it's the same in GA, is why no warrant appeared when you tried to find one). I doubt you could fight the ticket now (although a call to a GA attorney wouldn't hurt), which means your only option is to make arrangements to pay it. But that's just my opinion. 
Good Luck and I wish I had better news. 
Posted @ Monday, November 11, 2013 5:32 PM by Barry Kowitt
I got a ticket forever ago in louisi speed trap forgot to pay it now have pay the ticket and 100 dollars for license by end of week what happens if I dont pay it because I dont have the money for it
Posted @ Thursday, November 21, 2013 1:35 PM by taylor
Barry, I got a question in Louisiana if a person does not pay a ticket and does not appear in court. Can that person be put in jail and considered a FUGITIVE, just for not paying that ticket? Or is it considered different? Thanks!!! Jenny
Posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 10:09 PM by Jenny
Taylor and Jenny,  
Thanks for your questions. Both of you have questions about a ticket in Louisiana and I'm sorry to say I'm not licensed to practice in LA. However, Taylor, if this was Florida, they would suspend your license until you paid it or lifted the suspension and fought it. 
Jenny, in Florida, they would not put you in jail or consider you a fugitive for not paying a ticket for an infraction (speeding, red light, etc . . .) 
Thanks and good luck. 
Posted @ Tuesday, November 26, 2013 4:04 PM by Barry Kowitt
Hi Barry, 
I got a speeding ticket in early 2010 in CA, paid half of it and then lost my job due to injury and haven't been able to pay it since.  
It was originally $250, I paid half, then a year later got a notice saying that it was $500. I went to the court and asked if I could pay in installments, which they said no to. I never could save up the $500 all at once, and eventually my license was suspended. I've been riding the bus ever since, finally got a job this year and may be able to pay it soon. (Yay!)  
Taking out a loan to pay the ticket would not have been an option because my credit's so bad from not being able to pay all of my bills. 
I'm apprehensive about calling to find out what the price of the ticket is now though and would like some information to brace myself with before calling. I called a Ticket Clinic and asked about it, and the representative that I spoke with said that the price most likely hadn't gone up, but I'm sure I trust him. 
What I could never figure out was if the ticket went up to $500 because of a late fee or if the ticket has continued to accumulate interest? i know that you are not a lawyer in California, but I would appreciate your best guess! :D If I have to pay more than $500, I'm not sure that I could do it. if I explained why I haven't worked in so long, might they be more lenient? 
Thank you so much and have a wonderful day!
Posted @ Thursday, December 05, 2013 8:51 PM by Mi-Ri
I have a court date in 2 weeks for driving without a license. A second time. My license is suspended and has been for over two years due to a hefty $1500 (plus two additional tickets) from a DUI case I caught 3 years ago. I was unemployed for over a year and unable to pay the tickets. Finally got a job making a whole lot less than before, and I still have trouble coming up with the money. Thankfully, I'm able to have all my tickets paid next month, but my question is: on my court date, can I go to jail for knowingly driving on a suspended license a second time and still having unpaid tickets? What am I looking at?
Posted @ Sunday, January 05, 2014 8:16 AM by Michael
I have 8 tickets ranging from 2002-2011 in FL. I have not paid them and one ticket shows points assessed on my record. I pulled my driving record to pay these tickets and clear up my suspensions. Will the points be assessed all at once?
Posted @ Monday, January 06, 2014 1:07 AM by dee
Hi, my husband got 3 tickets in fl (we live in fl) he lost his job and the total of the tickets is $550 we already did 2 30 days extention wich is the limit now my question is: is there anything we could do or anywere we could go that will help us paying the fines? And do they suspend his license rite after the tickets due or they wait like 30days?we are goin to be able to pay by next month but we need the car since he found a job and thats the only way getting there.
Posted @ Thursday, January 09, 2014 1:57 AM by Stacy
Sorry to hear about your situation, but glad you now have a job. I know you don't want to hear this, but I don't know how they do things in CA. I'm sorry. In Florida, I would be able to tell you, but I just don't know how CA does things. Generally, once the amount hits a maximum (in your case $500 is pretty high) it doesn't keep going up. Don't be afraid to go to the clerk's office and set up a payment plan if they will let you. Put this behind you and you'll be able to move on. Ignore it and it will hang around forever. 
Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 4:49 PM by Barry Kowitt
You didn't say what county this was from, but since you are so close to paying, I would recommend walking into the clerk's office and talking to the head clerk (or supervisor). They can sometimes work miracles and in your case, that may be enough to allow you pay it off in time. To answer your question, they will suspend immediately but it won't hit DMV for a little while. 
Good Luck. 
Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 4:52 PM by Barry Kowitt
If you pay the tickets all at once, you will receive all the points at once (but if you don't pay them, you're license will stay suspended, so you won't accomplish anything by waiting). But, can you fight the tickets instead of just paying them? That might be a way to save you some money and points on your license. 
Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 4:58 PM by Barry Kowitt
Sorry to hear about your ordeal. To answer your question, yes, you could go to jail because knowingly driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense. However, in Florida, and based upon what you've indicated, I would think it is unlikely.  
Good Luck. 
Posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 5:00 PM by Barry Kowitt
No, that's exactly what I needed to hear, I appreciate your time! I have had a very irrational fear of going and finding out that it's somehow ballooned out of the realm of payment for me, and I totally understand that CA laws may be different, but you just gave me the kick in the butt that I needed! :D 
Thank you so much! And Happy New Year! 
Warmest regards, 
Posted @ Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:59 AM by Mi-Ri
Okay question I got a speeding ticket in my home town Florida where my license was from. I was on leave with the military. Shortly after when I retuned to my duty station in Washington my wallet was stolen so I had to apply for a new license with the state of Washington. So my question is can Florida suspend my Washington drivers license?
Posted @ Tuesday, January 21, 2014 8:18 AM by Joe tovar
Joe, thanks for the question and thanks for your service. Sorry to hear about your wallet being stolen. Let me ask you, what did you do with the ticket you received in Florida? If you've done nothing, yes, the resulting suspension will affect your Washington driver's license. Call me and we'll see what we can do to help you. 
Posted @ Wednesday, January 22, 2014 7:15 PM by Barry Kowitt
Hi Barry, i am in urgent need of help.  
I got two tickets a month and a day ago from the same officer. One for running a stop sign and the second for making an illegal turn. However, I forgot about them and today is the 31st day so I'm late to pay it. I am very confused about what I should do though!  
I was going to simply get the driving school so as to not get points but since it's two different citations under the same case it appears I can only apply the driving school to one of the citations and not for the second. So I am very confused as to what I should do.  
Please help!  
Thank you
Posted @ Friday, January 31, 2014 11:18 PM by Andy
You didn't say what county this was from, but you may be able to log in and plead "not guilty" on both to keep your license from being suspended. Then you can decide if you should fight them, pay them and go to school or hire an attorney to fight it for you.  
You are correct, you can't elect the same school for both. (I don't think you should go to school for either, but that's me) 
If you want my firm to try and help, give me a call. 800-489-4125
Posted @ Saturday, February 01, 2014 12:13 PM by Barry Kowitt
I got a speeding ticket in New York State about 20 years ago whilst on holiday from Uk. I lost it and didnt hear from them so didnt pay. Would they stop me entering the USA again or make me pay ? 
I want to visit California and Florida  
Thks for your help 
Posted @ Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:39 PM by Simon
I wouldn't think that would stop you from entering the country. I think it would only preclude you from possibly renting a car (and even then, I'm not so sure).  
Posted @ Friday, February 07, 2014 4:00 PM by Barry Kowitt
Someone in polk county updated a citation after the fact (you can tell from the ink change). The origninal had no license no date of birth and no height. After the fact the date ob birth and height was filled in (apparently from a drivers license lookup. They picked my father's license which says deceased as he was dead for many months before the citation was issued. Is it legal for them to update a citation after the fact? As the address on the citation is not my fathers no information was ever sent to us. Where does one even begin to straighten this out?
Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 8:22 AM by Jim
HeY so i got a speeding ticket and no license.about 2 years agofrom now and havent paid nothing and verly on january 2013 i got caught shoplifting and cops gave me a date to go to court this week feb 24 what should i do should a get a lawyer please answer
Posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 1:01 AM by alexis
I got a speeding ticket 12/25/14, which I also got a charge for not having my license on me. I forgot them in my car and while driving my wife car to a family gathering. It's my first speeding ticket, we haven't had the money to pay because of our doctor bills from when we had our baby and our weekly visits before the baby was born. We have just been strapped for cash since. Is there anyway I could get an extension for about three weeks. Or would my license be taken until I pay up?
Posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:23 AM by Dwayne
Jim, in terms of after the fact corrections on a citation, you can certainly show your copy to a judge and argue the amendments were improper. Many times we are able to get cases dismissed, but many times the judges will grant a continuance and tell you that you now have proper notice. Worth a shot. Good Luck. 
Posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:33 AM by Barry Kowitt
You didn't say where all this is from. If it's in Florida, we can certainly help you. If it's not, I might be able to help you find an attorney. Let me know. 
Posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:38 AM by Barry Kowitt
Congratulations on the baby. Yes, those expenses come fast and furious. 
You didn't say if this was a Florida ticket, but if it was, you only had 30 days to let the court know how you wished to proceed. You could have told the clerk "not guilty" and bought yourself another 45-60 days at least. I wish you would have called me.  
If you've done nothing since December, your license is suspended. Before it gets worse, please call me office so we can verify what's going on and try to give you the best advice. 
Posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:42 AM by Barry Kowitt
I got a ticket on Dec. 27 and today March 10 was the court date which i could not make. The lady basically said i had to come in and pay or attend court but since i can't make it, i will have a bench warrant issued and my license will be suspended. She also said that I can't pay it now or tomorrow. What can I do?
Posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 2:43 PM by Tiffany
Also, the ticket was issued in Worth County (Georgia).
Posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 2:44 PM by Tiffany
I'm not licensed to practice law in Georgia so I can't give you advice. In Florida, bench warrants are not issued for missed traffic infractions, just criminal matters. 
Best bet is to find a local attorney who can assist you. 
Posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:48 PM by Barry Kowitt
I live in Florida and allowed a friend to borrow my car and he ran a red light and was caught on camera. I got the notice and signed the affidavit stating that I was not driving the car at the time, I provided my friends drivers license number, date of birth, address and social security number as requested by the traffic court along with getting it notarized. If he doesn't address the ticket will that still come to me?
Posted @ Sunday, March 30, 2014 10:53 AM by Todd
I live in TN but while on vacation to FL I got a speeding ticket. The state tripper that pulled me over told me that he DID NOT see me speed but a pilot clocked me going 88 in a 70 zone. My ticket is $254. Is there anything I could do to drop some of the cost. I obviously can't appear in court to fight it at least for the points since I'm home now.
Posted @ Monday, March 31, 2014 6:43 AM by ashley
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