Surcharges are a fancy way for the Government to take even more money from your wallet. In 2003, the Texas Legislature began the Driver Responsibility Program with Section 708 of the Texas Transportation Code. Each year, the Department of Public Safety assesses surcharges against persons who received final convictions on certain offenses.
By Law, a conviction for a Traffic violation can have drastic effects on your employment as a Commercial Driver (CDL). The key here is the word “CONVICTION”. Section 522 of the Transportation Code provides that a conviction for a CDL includes “…a plea of guilty or no lo contendre [no contest] accepted by the court…[and] the payment of fines or court costs”.
Most People do not realize that in Texas, you only need to demonstrate PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. You can do so by showing ONLY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
-Proof of motor vehicle liability insurance policy (under 601, Subchapter D)
-A Surety Bond with the Department of Public Safety (under 601.121)
-A Deposit of Cash or Securities with the Comptroller (under 601.122)
-A Deposit of Cash or Cashier’s Check with County Judge (under 601.123)
-Self-Insurance (for persons whose name more than 25 motor vehicles are registered) (under 601.124)
On September 1, 2005, the Texas Senate passed SB1005 which created a variety of requirements for young drivers. These were codified in Article 45.051 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
Basically, if you are under Twenty-Five (25) the law REQUIRES you to complete a driver safety course (DSC) for any moving violation. If you are under Eighteen (18) you are required to do both a driver safety course and a road test. Violating these provisions will be a conviction.
The expenses on these driver safety courses will add up…not only will you have to pay the court fees (court costs and fines), but then you will have to pay a private agency a sum of money to take a driver safety course and pay for a certificate. A DSC also takes time, usually between4-6 hours. Some courts will also require you to demonstrate proof of your driving record from the Department of Public Safety.
Boiled down: COURT COSTS + FINE + DSC +CERTIFICATE + DRIVING RECORD + TIME = $$$ = NO GOOD!!!
With our help, we can guide you through these confusing laws, and, in many cases, help you to avoid these needless expenses.
You may have lost the right to your Driver’s License for a variety of reasons, not limited to the following:
- Administrative Suspensions (Chapter 524 of the Texas Transportation Code)
- Failure to Pay Surcharges
- Judicially Ordered Suspension
- Failing to Appear for Court
Our answer to you would be, IT DEPENDS.
Defensive Driving is a method by which many persons who are eligible may be able to keep a traffic citation from becoming a conviction on their record. It typically requires the offender to plead to a citation, pay court costs and fines related to that offense, purchase and enroll in a driver safety course, achieve and purchase a driver safety course certificate, obtain and purchase a driving record from DPS, and then forward all documents and payments to the court.
“I plead Guilty/No Contest”: In a criminal proceeding, there is really no distinguishable difference between a plea of guilty or no contest. They carry the same weight of culpability. Guilty tells the court you did the offense. No contest tells the court that you aren’t saying you did or didn’t do the offense, but that you are willing to accept the responsibility for the offense.
Our Attorneys see the courtroom. We spend the majority of our time before Judges, Prosecutors, and Other Adversaries. We know what the law is and where to find it, and we know what questions to ask. We are fighters. You are our most important asset.