Table of Contents:
- Statute of Limitations for Traffic Tickets in Colorado
- Statute of Limitations on Traffic Tickets in Texas
- Statute of Limitations for Traffic Violations in Alabama
- Arizona Statutes of Limitations on Traffic Violations
Class I Violations
Class I, sometimes referred to as Class A, traffic violations are considered misdemeanors in Colorado. The statute of limitations for traffic tickets in Colorado for Class I violations is one year. Class I violations include, but are not limited to, most speed-related offenses. Accidents resulting in minor personal injury may also be considered Class I, but the determination depends on the severity of the injuries sustained.
Class II Violations
Class II violations are classified as more serious infractions such as driving in excess of 25 mph over the posted speed limit or "careless" driving. Traffic tickets issued for these infractions also carry a statute of limitations of one year in Colorado.
As with most states, Colorado has certain criteria that define when the statute of limitations is postponed or nonapplicable. If the accused is absent from the state, the statute of limitations is postponed until the individual returns to Colorado or for a maximum of five years after the date of issue for the ticket.
The state of Texas classifies most traffic offenses that result in a ticket as Class C misdemeanors, which are considered the least serious type of criminal offense. By state law, Class C misdemeanors carry a standard two-year limitation period. This means that your ticket must be issued within two years of the driving offense, or the state cannot prosecute you. However, a ticket that is properly issued stays on your record forever unless you take action to have it dismissed.
Texas Statute of Limitations for Traffic Offenses
The statute of limitations is a time period during which the state must bring charges against you. Different offenses carry different limitation periods – generally, the more serious the crime, the longer the state has to file a complaint. In Texas, most traffic tickets carry a two-year limitation period. If a traffic violation is more than 2 years old and a complaint hasn't been filed, you can't be prosecuted for that particular traffic offense.
Time Limit for Paying the Fine
The statute of limitations applies only to filing the legal complaint against you. The instant the ticket is filed, the statute of limitations stops running. Assuming the citation is issued within the two-year limitation period, you're obligated to pay the fine before your scheduled court appearance, or appear in court to fight the ticket. The ticket does not become invalid after two years or any other period. The only way to remove the traffic ticket is to get it legally dismissed.
Penalties for Ignoring a Texas Traffic Ticket
Ignoring a traffic ticket in the hopes that it will go away may result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest. If you fail to pay your ticket or appear in court by the listed deadline, the court may enter a judgment against you, and then issue an arrest warrant and a new misdemeanor charge of failure to appear in court. The arrest warrant never expires. If arrested, you might be sentenced to community service hours or jail time.
Ways to Avoid a Traffic Penalty
Your best bet to avoid paying a traffic fine or incurring another penalty such as having points added to your driving record, is to consult an attorney. An attorney can help you decide the best plan of action for your ticket. For example, you may be able to attend a traffic school course to avoid getting points on your license. You'll need the court's permission to go this route, and it's available only for minor traffic citations in Texas. But if you are eligible, passing the course will dismiss your ticket and permanently remove it from your driving record.
A statute of limitations limits the amount of time for bringing a civil or criminal action against an individual. In Alabama, the statute of limitations for misdemeanors is one year from the date of the occurrence. A traffic ticket is a misdemeanor. The date the officer issues the traffic ticket stops the statue of limitations from running. The statute of limitations applies to the amount of time the officer has to issue the ticket for the traffic offense. A statute of limitations does not limit the amount of time the state has to collect the fee owed.
In Alabama, an officer issues a traffic ticket when he stops the driver. The complaint and summons filed in any Alabama court make up the Uniform Traffic Ticket and Complaint, a paper or electronic version of the ticket. The electronic version must contain the same information as the ticket. The officer must use the ticket in all non-felony traffic cases.
Instead of issuing a paper ticket, the officer can generate a notice to appear in court. The notice is an electronic document printed and served at the time of the traffic stop. A notice to appear also would toll the statute of limitations.
Alabama law requires the law enforcement officer issuing the ticket to follow procedures. The officer must complete and sign the ticket, serve a copy of the ticket on the defendant and -- often within 48 hours -- acknowledge under oath the case's facts to anyone within the judicial branch of government authorized by the state to administer oaths and file copies of the ticket with the court.
Generally, traffic violations do not have statutes of limitations. The related citation would remain in effect until paid. However, in Arizona, there is a three-year statute of limitations for the collection of fines for civil traffic violations, if certain requirements are met.
Civil Traffic Violation
When an individual violates Arizona’s rules governing traffic movement and control, including parking or standing, that violation will be treated as a civil violation, unless the Arizona statutes designate the violation as criminal.
Commencement of Action
A case for a civil traffic violation in Arizona will be commenced as follows. It will be issued within 60 days of the alleged violation or a case will be filed within 60 days of the alleged violation, with service taking place within 90 days of the filing date. The times for commencement of action are extended in the event the violation occurs in connection with a traffic accident or an accident that results in death.
Statute of Limitation
Generally the failure to pay civil penalties within 30 days of the entry of judgment may result in suspension of driving privileges until the penalty is paid. Arizona law, however, provides for a statute of limitations if certain requirements have been met. If the traffic violation occurred more than 36 months before the court initiates collection proceedings, there will be a statute of limitations; there will also be limitations if the court does not have records indicating that the civil penalty remains outstanding, if the court has not been directed to suspend the license or refuse to renew the vehicle registration, and if the court does not have a record of extending the time for payment.