Statute of Limitations on Traffic Tickets in Texas

By Jonathan Lister
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Traffic citations can be a nuisance or significant financial burden for drivers. Drivers who accumulate enough citations could lose their driver's licenses, further damaging their mobility and in some cases, the ability to keep a full-time job. The myth of statutes of limitations on speeding tickets in some states, Texas included, has some drivers thinking avoidance is the best means to solve the problem of a traffic citation. That's not true.

The Truth About Speeding Tickets

According to thelaw.com, an online community of lawyers across the United States, a statute of limitations for speeding tickets does not exist in Texas or any other state. Once the officer has issued the citation, the driver is obligated to either plead not guilty and appear in court, or pay the fine listed on the traffic citation. Failure to do either will result in a warrant being issued for their arrest (which never expires) and the revocation of their driver's license.

Request a Continuance

Pleading not guilty to a traffic citation will generate a court date where the defendant must appear in court before a judge. Requesting a continuance of that hearing date can buy the defendant more time to come up with a feasible defense or simply allow for time to acquire enough money to pay the fine. Contact the court clerk's office of the district court house assigned to the hearing in writing in order to request a continuance of any hearing date. The defendant must include a good reason as to why the hearing date is not viable. The reason can be related to work, school, or family as well as the need to find more evidence to use in defense of the citation.

Ways a Ticket is Dropped

A traffic citation is fiercely dependent on paperwork. Failure by the citing officer to sign the citation, correctly identify the location of the traffic, or incompletely cite the offense could result in the charges being dismissed at a court hearing. These are known as material defects, meaning they create reasonable doubt that the traffic stop occurred for lawful reasons. The driver is presumed innocent, and because the citation cannot be used as evidence, the remaining material is circumstantial (the officer's word) and not enough to allow the judge to levy a fine against the driver. A ticket can also be dismissed if the officer fails to make the court date.