DPS Surcharges in San Antonio, Texas
What a San Antonio Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Do for You
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) created the Driver Responsibility Program, governed by the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 708, to impose a surcharge to drivers convicted of certain traffic violations and offenses that occurred after September 1st 2003. There are two criteria for obtaining a surcharge: the point system and conviction based surcharge. The surcharge is a fee imposed in addition to other administrative fees, and penalties, such as revocation or administration suspension of driver's license, or any other penalty for violating the vehicular state laws.
Under the point system, you are assigned two points for a Texas or out-of-state moving violation conviction, for example, a speeding ticket. Three points will be assigned for a moving violation that results in a crash in Texas or out-of-state. If the driver accumulates 6 points or more, a surcharge will be imposed, and will amount to $100 for the first six points and $25 per additional point. In accordance with the conviction based system, you will be automatically required to pay a surcharge for three years for the following traffic violations:
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- $1,000 annual surcharge for first conviction
- $1,500 annual surcharge for second conviction
- $2,000 annual surcharge for blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.16% or more
- Driving with an invalid license ($250 annual surcharge)
- Driving without a license ($100 annual surcharge)
- Driving without insurance ($250 annual surcharge) - also known as failure to maintain financial responsibility (FMFR)
Additional fees to the surcharge itself can be assessed by the vendor who is in charge of collecting the surcharge, such as:
- 4% service fee based on original surcharge amount
- $2.50 per partial payment (installation plan)
- 2.25% fee for credit or debit payment
- $2.00 per payment for electronic check payments
Surcharge notices are sent via mail and must be paid within 30 days of receipt, or a payment plan must be established, to avoid suspension of driver's license.
A San Antonio traffic ticket attorney at Law Office of J. Blake Etheridge, PLLC can offer you legal assistance with DPS surcharges, and any other type of traffic ticket defense case. The importance of preserving one's driving privileges is vital to being able to function, and I can help make sure your rights are being considered.
San Antonio Traffic Ticket Lawyer
It is common for individuals that pay traffic tickets with due diligence to be unaware of how many points have accumulated on their driving record. In such an instance, it can be financially burdening to be required to pay surcharges. In the event that a person moves to a different address and fails to report the change to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), a an individual could risk getting their driver's license suspended because the payment was not made on time.
If you were given a DPS surcharge, I strongly recommend you get knowledgeable legal representation that will guide you and thoroughly explain your options. There are several programs now available that help those less fortunate only pay a portion of the surcharge amount. You could be eligible for one of the three available programs:
- Amnesty program - can apply to individuals in default of paying (reduces amount to 10% of surcharge, not to exceed $250, and rescind suspension while payments are made)
- Indigency program - applies to individuals at or below 125 percent of poverty level (reduces amount to 10% of surcharge, not to exceed $250, and rescind suspension while payments are made)
- Incentive program - applies to individuals between 125 and 300 percent poverty level (surcharge amount will be reduced if paid in full or if continued compliance on payment plan)
As an experienced lawyer in traffic ticket defense, I can give you the legal advice you need to face these surcharges, and can seek to minimize the surcharge amount or get your driver's license reinstated.
Contact a San Antonio traffic ticket lawyer if you have surcharges you would like to contest, have difficulty paying, or need help getting your driver's license back.