Area Traffic Court Attorney Discusses Abusive Ticketing
Posted on Jun 10, 2015 in Traffic
Municipal governments are increasingly relying upon revenue from traffic tickets and fines from driving offenses in order to balance their budgets. This can result in aggressive efforts by law enforcement officers to write a significant number of tickets in order to produce necessary revenue to keep local governments functioning.
When people cannot pay their fines, additional fees and costs are tacked on that raise even more money for the city but can lead to license suspensions and even jail time for motorists.
There are laws in place to protect you if you receive a traffic citation you don’t believe you deserved. A New Orleans traffic court attorney can help you fight against a citation so you can try to avoid a fine and keep a clean driving record. You should not just simply pay the fine, which is an admission of guilt — at least not until you have talked to a lawyer about your legal options.
Cities Sued for Abusive Ticketing Practices
The Washington Post reported that civil rights lawyers have filed lawsuits against two cities claiming that the municipal court policies of those cities violate the U.S. Constitution. The policies are allegedly resulting in people ending up in jail for failure to pay fines they are too poor to pay. This is against the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits debtor’s prisons.
This recent lawsuit is not the only one to allege abusive police practices when it comes to ticketing, citing and fining citizens. In fact, one study found more than a dozen small towns around St. Louis County were obtaining more money from traffic fees and traffic-court fines than they received from either sales taxes or property taxes.
Fines from a ticket are only the beginning when it comes to abusive practices against citizens designed to generate revenue. Many people who receive a traffic ticket don’t know that if they do not come to court (or pay the ticket), they can make their legal troubles much worse. You can be charged with a failure to appear, face a larger fine and have a bench warrant issued for your arrest if you fail to either pay your traffic fine or come to the required hearing to defend yourself.
Drivers should not be responsible for balancing government budgets and should not be worried about ending up in jail if they are fined for traffic violations. Some locations are reportedly moving away from the aggressive use of tickets and court fines against citizens; but this is not the case everywhere and some Louisiana municipalities may be engaging in these unfair ticketing practices.
The lawsuits that are moving forward will perhaps help to end the abuse if it is determined that the actions of the courts and law enforcement are wrongful. Every driver, however, needs to be vigilant about knowing his or her rights and protecting those rights after receiving a citation and/or summons to appear in court.
A traffic ticket attorney in the New Orleans area can be your advocate after you get a citation. Call Bloom Legal today for information about how an attorney can help you.