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  • Ticket Fines and Penalties in Texas

    Texas Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

    Traffic ticket fines vary by county in Texas. For example, running a red light in Bexar County won't cost the same as running one in Travis County. Additionally, counties might charge various fees that differ throughout the state. To ensure you pay the proper amount, check the total fines listed on your traffic citation. Any additional questions you might have regarding the full amount owed should be directed to the specific county court named on the traffic ticket.

    If you have misplaced your citation, check out our page on tracking down lost traffic tickets.

    Surcharges

    Texas charges additional administrative fees, or surcharges, to drivers with convictions reported to their driving record. This is part of the state's Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). Texas uses two criteria to determine whether you'll be slapped with a surcharge: the TX point system and conviction-based surcharges.

    Point System Surcharges―While traffic fines vary by county, driving record points are standard across the state. If you accumulate more than 6 points on your record, you must pay a $100 surcharge. Each additional point after your initial 6 points will cost you $25. The state reviews your driving record annually, and if you have 6 or more points, you must pay the surcharge. These point surcharges might vary with each annual review if any convictions have been added or removed from your driving record.

    It's important to keep a close eye on your driving record to ensure the state has you down for the accurate amount of points. Learn more on how you can check your driving record online.

    Conviction-Based Surcharges― Some convictions come with surcharges you must pay annually for 3 years (starting from your conviction date). While these tend to be much more expensive than the points-based surcharges, the state will not add any points to your driving record for these offenses. The following conviction-based surcharges are automatic upon conviction:

    • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), first offense: $1,000
    • DWI, 2 or more offenses: $1,500 per year
    • DWI with blood alcohol content of .16 or greater: $2,000 per year
    • No insurance: $250 per year
    • Driving with an invalid license: $250 per year
    • No driver license: $100 per year

    In some cases, the state offers the opportunity for reductions and installment agreements. For more on the DRP Amnesty and Incentive Programs, consult the Texas Drivers Handbook.

    Pay Ticket
    (Plead Guilty or No Contest)

    • Pay the fine
    • Option to plea bargain penalties
    • Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
    • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
    • Possible option to take driver safety course and get ticket dismissed/points reduced

    Learn more about
    Paying your Traffic Ticket »

    Fight Ticket
    (Plead Not Guilty)

    • Contest traffic ticket via trial
    • Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney
    • No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
    • Possible option to take driver safety course and get ticket dismissed/points reduced

    Learn more about
    Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

    Auto Insurance Rate Increase

    Another additional cost you might incur is a rate increase to your existing auto insurance policy. Following a traffic violation conviction that results in additional points on your driving record, shop online to compare auto insurance rates to ensure you get the best deal.

    Texas Traffic Ticket Penalties

    Traffic ticket penalties don't vary from county to county; you're subject to the same consequences no matter where you get convicted of violating the Texas traffic laws. What {em}does{/em} vary are the types of penalties you might face. Most commonly, these include getting points added to your driving record, having your TX driver's license suspended or revoked, or facing restricted driving privileges. Even more variation comes into play depending on the type of driver's license you hold (CDL, learner's permit, etc.).

    Texas Point System

    If the state convicts you of a moving traffic violation, you'll see points added to your driving record. These points will remain on your record for three years. In some cases, you can take a state-approved defensive driving course to have the points reduced or removed.

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