Traffic Fines and Jail Time

 

Traffic Fines and Jail Time
By: CJ Cassidy

Cape Girardeau, MO - M
ost 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.

I
n fact,
L
t.
B
uddy
D
avis who works as the jail administrator in
C
ape
G
irardeau, says many who ignore tickets end up behind bars.

"S
omeone's not going to serve time for a first time speeding ticket.
H
owever, 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.

T
raffic and parking violators owe the city of
C
ape more than
$
22
,000
in unpaid fines from last year.

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

D
avid
P
urkey says he's just glad he has a handle on his problems.

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

S

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

T
he
M
unicipal
C
ourt
C
lerk 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.