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What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Traffic Tickets?

Legally speaking, the statute of limitations for traffic tickets is at least two years. It also depends on the severity and nature of the violation for which the traffic ticket is assigned. This implies that after these two years are over, the courts can’t really help you out. Also, we must consider that dodging a traffic ticket for two years is a near-impossible task. Honestly, we haven’t come across any such people.

How does a statute of limitations on speeding tickets work?

Let us start from the basics and understand how a traffic violation functions. Consider a scenario where you get charged with some traffic violations. This is when the statute of limitation ceases to run. The criminal statutes of limitations essentially limit the waiting period for a prosecutor to file charges against the suspect. Hence when some officer charges you with a traffic violation or gives you a speeding ticket, the statute of limitations speeding ticket stops. Although the fine charged against you goes on to the record immediately and stays there indefinitely.

The statute of limitations in every state starts running and proceeds towards an expiration where after the charge cannot be imposed upon. Hence, the statute starts as soon as the offense is committed and continues till the crime is charged. As soon as the charges are made, the statute stops running. In Texas, the law dictates that any charge against an individual must be brought within two years from the time of the crime. As mentioned, the fines and speeding tickets do not get dissolved but aren’t affected by the statutes of limitations as they get imposed after the ticketing.

What are the consequences of getting a speeding ticket?

When you get charged with a speeding ticket or any other traffic violation, the first thing you’ll have to do is sign it. The ticketing officer will himself ask you to do that. The sign implies that you have acknowledged the charges and accepted them with your sign on the ticket. The acknowledgment signifies that the statute of limitations speeding ticket isn’t applicable further on. As the statute of limitations stops, it becomes irrelevant if you do not pay the ticket fine. This is because the charges and the citation do not go away, and the fine has to be paid in the future. Failing to pay the fine by its due date might bring upon additional charges against you. A second traffic violation may add to the charges and fines against your name.

Are the consequences for a serious offense and minor offenses different?

The statute of limitations has its fair share of limitations as well. Critical offenses such as murder, kidnapping, and murder attempt do not carry any such statute. Serious felonies are indictable permanently. Such offenses include any violent crimes or sexual offenses as well. Besides, the exact list varies from one state to the other. Sexual crimes and murders are indictable in almost every state. These serious crimes have no statute of limitations, and hence the court can charge us even decades after the event.

Minor offenses and felonies, however, have a fixed statute of limitation that varies among different states. For example, a felony will have a longer statute period than any other minor misdemeanors. The statute of limitation on speeding tickets and other minor traffic violations is usually set at two years. This means that it will not be possible to charge the suspect for that offense after that period.

Some default cases

If you have auto insurance against your vehicle, then the statute of limitations will be held longer for you in a few cases. Let us discuss them in brief as follows.

  1. Speeding tickets premium will correspond with your speed. For instance, if your vehicle is going 20 miles over the speed limit, then your fine might be around 12 percent more. If the speed goes 30 miles above the limit, then the fine might be 20 percent more. The exact calculations will depend on your insurer.
  2. There are a few typical statutes of limitations on speeding tickets that remain on your insurance records for more than a decade. The reasons can be various and anonymous, but it is quite a common situation in the present day.
  3. Negotiate the fine with your insurer. Your insurer has the ability to bring down the penalty value charged against you. In many cases, insurers forego this penalty due to extenuating circumstances. In many cases, they require you to take an advanced course in driving in exchange for forgiving the ticket. Different insurers have varying details of such exemption; even if your insurer doesn’t provide you such benefits, it’s always worth a try to ask them and negotiate a deal.
  4. Other factors will influence your increased premiums. Such factors are the car model you drive, your age, etc. These factors might seem inconsequential but have the ability to enhance your premiums significantly.

Even if you switch your insurance company, the higher insurance value will keep chasing you for years. You can, however, manipulate the premium difference by checking for discounts from your insurer. You can then go on to install newer advanced safety features that will compel your insurer to bring down the premium rates. This all goes to show getting penalized for a speeding ticket is manageable, though not ideal. The statute of limitations on speeding tickets will provide some relief in this regard.


Traffic offenses and minor traffic violations such as breaking the speed limit attract charges. In such cases, the statute of limitation becomes active and remains so for two years. If charges are brought up against the offender, then it has to be done within this time period. The court will dismiss any such charges once the statute terminates. You will have to hire an attorney to defend the charges brought against you in court. The statute provides some sort of relief when one gets charged with traffic violations and has to pay the penalty.

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