Traffic Fines and Jail Time - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

Traffic Fines and Jail Time

 

Traffic Fines and Jail Time
By: CJ Cassidy

Cape Girardeau, MO - Most of us know what it's like to have to fork over money for a traffic or parking ticket, but some people seem to operate on the belief that ignoring a ticket will make it disappear.

Still, you could not only end up with a stiffer fine, you could also end up behind bars.

"It was getting close to the end of the month so I had to pay some fines," David Purkey says. He's had his share of tickets, eleven altogether.

"They were for driving without a license, no insurance, improper registration, seatbelt, they all added up," Purkey says.

To a grand total of $610.

But Purkey showed up to court, and worked out a payment plan. It's offenders who blatantly ignore the law that have reason to worry.

"Most of our tickets we have in our court carry a $ 500.00 maximum fine with a ninety day maximum jail sentence," Jena Stafford, Cape Girardeau's Chief Municipal Court Clerk says.

In fact, Lt. Buddy Davis who works as the jail administrator in Cape Girardeau, says many who ignore tickets end up behind bars.

"Someone's not going to serve time for a first time speeding ticket. However, the problem comes when they have a lot of tickets unable to or fail to pay fines go through court system have to serve time," Davis explains.

Traffic and parking violators owe the city of Cape more than $ 22,000 in unpaid fines from last year.

And there are forty arrest warrants out for folks who didn't show up to court.

David Purkey says he's just glad he has a handle on his problems.

"When I get my license back I'll do everything by the law," he vows.

So the best advice: if you get a ticket, either pay the fine before the due date, or show up for your court date.

The Municipal Court Clerk says the same rules apply to out of state traffic violators. Ignoring a ticket in one state could end with them getting their license revoked in their home state.

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