What Happens to that Cash You Pay for a Citation?

Traffic cop is talking with a driver

You are pulled over by an officer as you are traveling down the highway. You thought your day was going to be a good one and now it just took a turn for the worse. You receive a citation and decide to pay it to avoid what you believe will be the hassle of going to traffic court. But just what happens to that money you have handed over to the court?

That question was recently posed in North Carolina. According to a news report, thousands of citations are handed out to drivers across the East every year. Some of the citations are minor, but some of those tickets result in large fines. When people are handed a traffic citation and take the time to look at it, they may be surprised to find that some of the costs have nothing to do with the violation.

When you receive a traffic citation, part of the fines include court costs. What does that mean? If you don’t fight your ticket, you won’t be appearing in court, so why pay costs? Those court costs go to the upkeep of your local courthouse. Everything from maintenance to utility bills can be covered with the revenue earned from traffic tickets.

Court costs, of course, vary by jurisdiction and even by state, but all citations come with these fees. Having to pay court costs when not appearing in court is leaving drivers wondering if police officers are encouraged to write more tickets when the court needs money. The standard answer to that question is that police are not given quotas to fill when it comes to citations. Whether or not that is accurate is anyone’s guess.

If you have received a traffic citation in New York, you need Feifer & Greenberg on your side. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for your free case evaluation.