Zombie traffic tickets are a real and present issue in the current justice system.
It’s important that you fully arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to not only fight a zombie traffic ticket but to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Any unpaid ticket from your past can be considered a Zombie ticket if it suddenly returns to haunt you, which can sometimes happen decades after the actual event.
How To Stop Zombie Tickets From Returning
Just because you receive a Zombie ticket doesn’t mean that you actually owe the fine for it. In many cases old tickets are reissued after they have been paid due to lost payments, misplaced records, or any combination of events.
The ideal way to prevent Zombie tickets is to keep detailed records of every traffic citation your receive and maintain proof of those payments. It’s a common practice to save all paper records for up to 7 years but in some cases Zombie tickets have been known to return from as long as 20 years in the past.
In these instances the only way to prove you have paid your fine is to produce evidence, such as:
- Online banking records
- Cashed checks payable to the DMV
- Physical bank statements
- Receipts issued for fine payment
Without at least one of these pieces of evidence that explicitly shows you previously paid your fine, it will be quite difficult, but not impossible, to fight off a Zombie ticket.
It’s not uncommon for Zombie tickets to be resurrected with incorrect fine amounts. Knowing how your fine is deduced, and therefore whether or not it is correct, will help immensely when trying to prove your Zombie ticket is invalid. There are five primary factors that influence your total fine amount which include:
- Your charges
- Predetermined statutory fines
- Victim surcharge costs
- Court expenses
- Your arguments
Depending on the additional fees incurred on your Zombie ticket, you may be fined a totally different amount than what you assume based on your charges.
- If you determine the fine is incorrect, one option is to attempt to force what is known as a fatal error.
- Forcing a fatal error essentially means taking advantage of a mistake on the written citation to prevent it from being valid, but the only way to do is to take no action and hope to court finds the error.
- If the court finds the error and can’t correct it with valid information in your presence, they must throw out the ticket.
Having to deal with the hassle of a Zombie traffic ticket can cause unforeseen damage to your livelihood and overall well-being. Beyond having to pay excessive fines, you might have your driver’s license suspended or worse. There is no statute of limitations on fines for traffic violations, so Zombie tickets can arise at any moment from any point in your past, and the State will do whatever it can to ensure payment.
Preventing Zombie tickets isn’t difficult if you pay attention to the details and keep thorough records of your citations and payments. Many people find it far easier to keep track of all their financial records than to be forced to deal with Zombie traffic tickets while ill-prepared. Correcting the unjust consequences of a false Zombie traffic ticket can be significantly harder than simply quashing the old ticket the moment it raises its head.
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