Re: Old Reckless Ticket Thought Was Paid.d'ohhh
Knowing which county this was in might help us address some of the lingering issues better. Some counties have local procedures that do not apply in others, and some of us are more familiar with particular counties but not others.
Whether you can even begin to reasonably expect a reduction in the $5000 amount which is due, and since some fines are mandatory or statutory (cannot be reduced) and others have minimums and maximums, you would have to get a detailed accounting of the different (additional) fines, penalties and assessments that the added $3600 is made up of. You'll have to contact the court where this matter was originally heard and ask them about that.
You should keep in mind that the court is (obviously) not under any obligation to reduce the amount, and in cases like this where you are having difficulty getting a license renewed or issued, they know the ball is fully in their court. So while it is not a bad idea to try and mitigate the cost of resolving this, I agree with flyingron that at the end of the day, you may find yourself having no other option but to pay the full amount.
Lastly, and while I do not know all the details of your case, or whether you actually qualify for this or not, but when you contact the court to get a breakdown of all the fines/fees/penalties and assessments, you may want to ask them about the Amnesty Program for Traffic Tickets and whether your case qualifies or not.
Some of the details are:
Until June 30, 2012, certain unpaid traffic tickets are eligible for a 50 percent discount under a one-time amnesty program. To qualify for amnesty all the following conditions must be met:
- Your outstanding traffic debt was due to be paid in full before January 1, 2009;
- The last date you made a payment was on or before January 1, 2009;
- You either failed to appear in court or failed to pay in full;
- You do not owe restitution to a victim on any case within the county where the violation was filed; AND
- You have no outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants within the county where the violation was filed.
That being said, and from what I *DO* know about your case, and since a "Wet & Reckless" charge is a misdemeanor, I would have assumed that the court would have issued a warrant as a result of the failure to appear (and a misdemeanor warrant would disqualify you from the amnesty program), and yet when a warrant is issued, there is no order for driver's license hold and you would not be having problems with a license in another state, so maybe you do qualify. Point is, call the court and ask!
Here is a list of Court locations and contact information. if for some reason you contact a court and you get an automated line (no live operators) I would try to get through to someone at the criminal clerk's office. Try and refrain fro calling actual courtrooms (unless specifically instructed to do so by someone from the court).
I am right 97% of the time... Who cares about the other 4%!