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Raymondville Encourages Drivers to Pay Unpaid Traffic Citations

3 years 8 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, January 19 2017 Jan 19, 2017 January 19, 2017 6:28 PM January 19, 2017 in News

RAYMONDVILLE - The city of Raymondville said they have more than 400,000 unpaid traffic citations. Some of these include $3,000 tickets. Others date back to 2005.

Raymondville Municipal Court Judge Felicita Gutierrez said she’s ready to make a deal with those who owe traffic tickets.

“In the past, people were really afraid to come in, because they didn’t have the money. And they’re under the impression that everything has to be paid up front,” she said.

In addition, other people with warrants fear being arrested; however, Gutierrez said people can set up payment plans or do community service to pay.

“People need to be aware that if you don’t pay your traffic citation, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It’s not going to go away,” she said. “You’re going to get another charge called a 'violate promise to appear,' and then they’ll be an arrest warrant.”

Willacy County resident Sandy Thompson said Raymondville drivers should be more responsible. She said she has mixed emotions about the city’s plan to help those who haven’t paid their fines.

“They issue these tickets, and they don’t get paid. Then that’s not good for the city itself,” she said. “I think to help them pay it or make a plan is good. But I don’t believe in that amnesty thing or to let the tickets go.”

Thompson added it’s unfair those with unpaid tickets get a payment plan while others paid up front.

Gutierrez said there’s an additional warrant officer to contact those who owe old traffic citations.

According to Raymondville City Manager Eleazar Garcia, around 40 percent of revenue from traffic tickets goes to the state, with the city receiving the rest. The city estimates about $52,000 of its annual budget comes from traffic fines.

He said the money goes into a general fund, which helps pay the city’s municipal court, police, fire, sanitation and finance departments, as well as others. 

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