Can Traffic Tickets Be Expunged?
Yes, however, the requirements for doing so vary from state to state. A traffic ticket expungement means all records of the traffic violation on police and court records will be removed from public access. It will basically be confidential in status. The records will be concealed or destroyed, and all legal accounts of the ticket will be sealed or erased.
While requirements vary from state to state, it’s generally required that you have to be a first-time offender if you want to apply for expungement. Also, a certain amount of time must pass after your ticket has been issued before you can apply. This also varies from state to state. You generally cannot have any pending criminal charges at the time you apply.
You will be required to put forward a petition to the court and if they accept it, your ticket will be expunged. If they object, you will have to appear in court and present your case. However, this is not something you should do without legal help.
Can Traffic Tickets Affect Your Credit?
A traffic ticket is just like any other form of debt. 30% of your credit score is determined by debt, and 35% is determined by your payment history. This means an unpaid traffic ticket can affect two major areas of your overall credit score.
Remember: the fact of receiving a traffic ticket in-and-of-itself isn’t going to affect your credit. It’s not paying it on time that will. This is why it’s important to pay your traffic tickets as soon as possible.
Can Traffic Tickets Be Paid In Installments?
It is possible to get on a payment plan for your traffic ticket. Many want to go this route if they are low on funds or if late fees and court costs have accumulated. It is possible to make small, monthly payments until your traffic ticket is paid off. Of course this varies from state to state, and even city to city. Your best option is to contact your local traffic court clerk for the information you need.
Can Traffic Tickets Turn Into Warrants?
Yes. If you fail to pay a traffic ticket, a judge can issue an arrest warrant. Does this mean that the police would then be actively looking for you? Most likely not. It means that any future traffic stop you’d be involved in will end in your arrest. Warrants also don’t expire, and they apply nation-wide. If you are in a different state than the one in which the ticket was issued, you will be extradited back to that state and can be held for up to 72 hours before you can see a judge. During your hearing, the judge will determine if you can be released or detained until a later hearing. If you are to remain detained, you will have to post bail in order to be released.
If you have an outstanding warrant, your best option is to appear in court with an attorney.