How long before an Unpaid Ticket becomes a Warrant

How long before an Unpaid Ticket becomes a Warrant

Traffic tickets can easily be forgotten as there is no reminder email, text message, or convenient deadline that reminds users. Many people will get a reminder about unpaid tickets if they get arrested.

Courts and law enforcement take unpaid tickets seriously. An arrest on your record can have serious consequences. If you fail to pay a traffic ticket for years, what happens?

There is no expiration date for traffic tickets. As a result of your traffic ticket, you must:

  • You can contest the ticket in court
  • You must pay the ticket (plead guilty)
  • Not contesting the ticket

The issue does not simply go away or add late fees if you fail to act in this timeframe. As a matter of fact, the problem usually becomes more serious. You can find specific information on the penalties for unpaid traffic tickets in the traffic ticket laws in your state.

If you don't do the time or pay the fine, the warrant remains in effect for years - even ten years after your ticket. The courts have no set deadline by which they need to come back with an arrest warrant, so they can use any legal issue at any time.

The judge will not accept your excuse that you didn't know about the ticket or that you forgot about it, and you will likely be charged late fees or other penalties. If you don't pay your fees, you may end up in jail.

Learn more: Fighting a dui case

If you have any questions or need help with your Traffic Ticket, DUI, DWI, Criminal Case, Auto Accident or any other related questions, just give us a call at 425-278-9922 or email us at

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