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Out standing speeding ticket!! oops....

Travel Forums North America Out standing speeding ticket!! oops....

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11. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Quoting SamSalmon

Don't worry-the US Custom & Immigration Branch-Homeland Security-doesn't collect information on traffic tickets-that is nonsense-and the previous info is from frightened uninformed thoroughly cowed people.

Frightened? Hardly. Uninformed? Possibly. Thoroughly cowed?

From Alex's post (above), he's not necessarily willing to be the subject to test the theory. Sometimes taking care of a problem is more effective than ignoring it and hoping for the best. H.S. may not care, but the warrant will be in the database.

Just as an example, and I realize this was at the Canadian border... Two outstanding "driving while intoxicated" charges from several years ago caused a denial of entry into Canada for a friend of mine. Warrants for "failure to appear" showed up upon scanning his passport. He was given a choice - turn around, go home and fix the problem or sit there while they contacted the authorities to arrest him.

12. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 8y

Isadora is setting up the classic straw man argument-an old and long discredited tactic.

The question is 'Does Homeland Security enforce warrants issued by the California Highway Patrol'?

I very much doubt it-drunk driving is a criminal offense while failing to paying a simple traffic fine is not.

13. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

Quoting SamSalmon

I very much doubt it-drunk driving is a criminal offense while failing to paying a simple traffic fine is not.

You might be right there if it remains a simple traffic fine, but now there's an arrest warrant.

Quoting alexstudly

Well i did a bit of digging after all of your very helpfull advice, and found out that my ticket had now gone to warrant status for my arrest! or pay $460

14. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 8y

Again-does Homeland Security enforce non criminal arrest warrants from traffic authorities?

15. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

Quoting SamSalmon

Again-does Homeland Security enforce non criminal arrest warrants from traffic authorities?

Oops! Didn't pay attention--I read through quickly and concentrated on the bold letters.

16. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1992 posts) 8y

Well, I'm certainly not an expert, but no, I would not expect the US State Department (Passport Control) to be enforcing non-criminal California state traffic laws (including arrest warrants).

However, it's not quite that simple.

Once you arrive in California, anytime you are checked by any police, you are likely to be arrested on the spot if they realize who you are--so, my advice is to either avoid driving a car or doing anything else that is likely to get you scruitinized by the police or else pay up. Personally, if you are planning to be in California for only a short time--and are not planning to rent a car or drive one someone else is loaning you, then you should be fine. It's only if you are likely to be pulled over that you have to worry--and even then, the police putting 2 + 2 together to realize that you are the guy with the outstanding warrant is a bit of a stretch.

Of course, here's the downside: if you are arrested, you will be required to post the $460 to make bail, plus probably an additional penalty for not paying. There is also the very small chance that you could be sentenced to jail--but I find that unlikely in the extreme. More likely they would give you a sentence, then suspend it and give you a warning that if you repeat the offense without paying, then you would be subject to serving any time for the new "crime", plus the time to which you were already sentenced (probably 30 days) but which was suspended.

Hope you have a good (and safe), and law-enforcement problem-free trip to the US.


17. Posted by alexstudly (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Wow guys! Thanks for all your input and replys!

Some answers are good (what i want to hear) and some WORRIE ME TO DEATH (i dont want to hear).

Ive contacted the embasy and explaned everything but no reply.

I fly out out on the 2nd of september so i'll update this thread as soon as i make it out the other side...
Or if anything changes meantime.

Again thanks guys

18. Posted by wassuup (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

Hi I live and work at a Court in California. I have dealt with many people who do not pay their traffic tickets. Here is the low down. You get a traffic ticket, you don't pay, it goes to Failure to Pay which is a Misdemeanor. When it goes to a misdemeanor you can only take care of it in person at the Courthouse you are supposed to go to. If you do not do this then it goes to Collections. If you are a US citizen your drivers license gets suspended until you pay the fine. Mind you many additional amounts have been added to the original fine so it is bound to be high.

There is no arrest warrant and generally the cops probably don't care as it is just a speeding ticket. They are more apt to give you a notice to appear and probably another ticket then they are to arrest you. I only know this because my husband is a retired cop.

They used to do arrest warrants years ago but now they just send you to collections. Less of a hassle for the Courts. Hope this helps everyone.


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