Based on where you are at in the great State of Texas, your traffic ticket fines can vary greatly. For instance, the fine for running a red light in Travis County will be different if you were to do the same in Bexar County. One of the reasons the fines vary is because different counties may include different fees that can vary throughout the entire state. In any case, it's important to always pay attention to your traffic citation to determine the amount you are supposed to pay. If you have any additional questions, it's important to direct your inquiries to the respective county court, which should be named on the ticket. However, if you have lost or misplaced the actual ticket, refer to the page that discusses how to track down your lost ticket.
Anytime you receive a traffic conviction on your driving record, the State of Texas will charge an additional surcharge or administrative fee. These fees are a component of Texas' Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). In any case, there are two different criteria used to determine whether you will be forced to pay a surcharge: Conviction-Based Surcharges and TX Point System.
Conviction Based Surcharges
Certain convictions come with surcharges that must be paid every year for three years following the conviction date. Conviction based surcharges are typically more expensive than the other type of surcharge. However, these surcharges do not add any additional points to your driving record. Upon conviction, the following surcharges are automatic:
- Failure to have a driver's license: $100 each year
- Operating a vehicle without a valid license: $250 each year
- Failure to have insurance: $250
- The first offense of Driving While Intoxicated: $1,000
- Two more DWI offenses: $1,500
- A DWI with a blood alcohol content of .16% or more: $2,000 each year
Depending on your case, Texas may offer you the opportunity to enroll in an installment payment plan or even get ticket reductions. Refer to your Texas Driver's Handbook to learn more about the DRP Amnesty and Incentive program.
Point System Surcharges
Even though the actual fine can vary based on the county, Texas institutes a standard, statewide point system. Anytime you have more than six points on your driving record, you are required to pay a $100 surcharge. After you accumulate six points, each additional point carries a surcharge of $25. Your driving record is reviewed each year by the state, and if you have accumulated six points or more, you will be required to pay the surcharge. Your point surcharges are subject to be different following every annual review based on whether you have any new convictions or if some of your older convictions have been removed.
Because it's a matter affecting your money, you should pay special attention to your driving record. Simply put, no one is perfect, and there have been instances where the state overcharged drivers. As a result, it's vital to make sure the points on your driving record are accurate. Click here to learn more about how you can keep track of the points on your driving record.
Automotive Insurance Increases
In addition to the previously mentioned surcharges, the points on your driving record may cause your auto insurance rates to increase. When you accumulate points on your driving record, insurance companies translate it as an increased risk. As a result, they raise the insurance rates for these drivers to compensate them for assuming this additional risk. In any case, it's always a great practice to compare automotive insurance rates to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Penalties for Traffic Tickets
In any case, the penalties for traffic tickets do not change based the county; you will suffer the same consequences regardless of where you are convicted for violating the traffic laws. While the penalties do not vary, the types of penalties you can face do vary from county to county. The most common penalties that could vary are:
- Having your driver's license restricted
- Having your driver's license revoked or suspended
- Getting points added onto your driving record
Another vital factor to consider is the type of license you have, such as a learner's permit, CDL, etc.
Texas Point System
Anytime you are convicted of a moving traffic violation, infraction points will be placed on your driving record and stay there for three years. However, certain infractions and instances allow you to go through a state-approved defensive driving course, so the points can be removed or reduced. In Texas, driving infraction points are assigned based on the following criteria:
- 2 Points for moving violation conviction
- 3 Points for moving violation convictions that resulted in an accident
Refer to the previously mentioned traffic fine section to learn more about the specific surcharges for convictions.
Texas Driver's License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation
Even though every conviction doesn't lead to a cancellation, revoked, or suspended driver's license, it's important to have the facts and to know where you stand.
- License Suspension is the temporary removal of an individual's driving privileges or driver's license for a set period of time.
- License Revocation is the termination of an individual's driving privilege or driver's license for an unspecified and indefinite period of time. Your driving privileges may be restored once you have met all of the conditions of the revocation.
- License Cancellation is the termination of an individual's driving privilege and license until they are able to re-qualify.
In any case, multiple traffic tickets could result in the revocation or administrative suspension of your driver's license. When it comes to traffic citations, you will temporarily lose your right to operate a vehicle when you have any of the following:
- Two or more convictions for a driver license restriction violation
- Four or more moving violations that occur within any 12 month period
- • Seven or more moving violations that occur within any 24 month period.
Check out the Suspensions and Revocations section of your Texas Drivers Handbook for a full list of all of the violations that could restrict your driving privileges.
Common Reasons People Lose Their Driver's License
A few of the most common reasons people lose their driver's license are:
- Driving with an invalid license
- A subsequent conviction of passing or overtaking a school bus
- DWI under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to stop and render aid
- Operating a vehicle with a suspended license
- A second conviction of failing to stop for a school bus
- Owning or displaying an identification card or driver's license that is either altered or fictitious
- Causing a major accident while operating a motor vehicle
- Negligent or habitual reckless driving
- Failing to comply with the terms of another state's citation that is a member of the Nonresident Violator Compact of 1977
- Committing. an offense in another state, which if committed in Texas would be grounds for revocation or suspension in Texas