What would happen if I decide not to pay a traffic fine in state in which I don’t live?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What would happen if I decide not to pay a traffic fine in state in which I don’t live?

I received a red light camera ticket in mail from when I was on vacation. I live in another state. The fine is $490. What would happen if I chose to ignore the ticket since I don’t even live in

that state?

Asked on June 14, 2016 under General Practice, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Every state has a slightly different procedure... however, if you ignore a ticket, then the court can issue a warrant for your arrest.  However, if you are arrested in a different state, then most states will not extradite for a traffic ticket.  This means that the state won't involuntarily drag you back. 
If the traffic ticket is the type that could result in suspension, then the ticketing state could ask your home state to enforce the suspension under the full faith and credit theory. 
So... bottom line, nothing may happen, but the potential consequences could be very inconvenient should they actually occur.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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