Texas Toll Road Violations: Small Fines Quickly Add Up To Big Trouble

It's a 40-mile, six-lane, limited access expressway linking high-tech corridors, corporate headquarters, and a wide range of other important destinations; it offers access to U.S. 75, the Dallas North Tollway, Interstate 35E and I-635, and is an alternative route to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; yes, like other Dallas area toll roads, the President George Bush Turnpike is a valuable (and expanding) resource for commuters. But, it doesn't come cheap.

Missed tolls may not seem like such a big deal. But, a few bucks here and there can rapidly accumulate, and if you ignore the problem for too long, you're liable to end up with a traffic warrant. Without the help of a Texas traffic violations attorney, your missed tolls could become a giant inconvenience that costs you thousands.

An Overview of the Toll System; A Few Missed Tolls Can Snowball

Toll roads in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex are generally operated by the North Texas Tollway Authority. Rates vary, but they are closely aligned to the miles driven (the farther you drive between tolling points, the more you pay per trip). Small, incremental changes in Texas toll rates are planned for the next few years; in 2013, the rate will be 0.1616 cents per mile.

To pay tolls, you can pay electronically using an onboard technology know as a TxTag; on some roads, you can pay with cash at toll plazas and ramps; or, through the Pay By Mail program, you will receive a monthly bill (devices above the tolls lanes take a picture of the license plate of any vehicle without an electronic toll tag, and the owner of the vehicle receives the monthly bill).

So let's say you've missed a few tolls, and neglected to pay them. Not such a big deal, right? Well, you actually may be in more trouble than you think.

Imagine you owed a paltry $5 in tolls. If you forget to pay within a 30 day window, you'll be assessed a $2.50 late fee, and given another 15 days to pay. After a late notice, you'll receive a violation invoice with a further $8.25 administrative fee per toll. This is followed by collection service, which includes a $25 administrative fee per toll. Next comes DPS citations (another $25 per toll administrative fee) and justice of the peace courts (again, a further $25 administrative fee, this time along with civil penalties and court costs). All figured, missing a $5 toll and forgetting to pay for six months can cost you well over $250.

But, there are potentially even greater consequences; every year, Texas law enforcement organizations stage a warrant roundup, issue traffic warrants and aggressively pursue arrests for unpaid traffic obligations. For something as simple as running a toll, you could face an embarrassing and inconvenient arrest.

Help From an Attorney Can Prevent Arrest, Save You Thousands

Remember, missed tolls and their accompanying fines and fees are cumulative; tickets in excess of $70,000 are not altogether unheard of. But, if you have missed tolls, it is not too late: you can avoid arrest, and potentially save yourself thousands of dollars, by contacting a Dallas traffic ticket lawyer. Get in touch with a Dallas-Fort Worth area traffic violation attorney today to learn more about your options for addressing unpaid tolls.

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