Valley Woman Surprised by Extra Costs with Speeding Fines
LAGUNA VISTA – If you’re paying off your speeding ticket in a payment plan longer than 30 days, it’s going to cost you. And if you don’t comply, you could end up in handcuffs.
Ester Garza said she got a speeding ticket in Laguna Vista. After paying her $220 speeding fine, she said she was assessed another fee.
“Supposedly, the computer automatically takes $25 out from everybody that paid a ticket,” she said.
Garza is referring to Texas Statute Section 133.103. Anyone convicted of a crime who takes longer than 30 days to pay their fines will also incur a $25 fee.
"Sec. 133.103. TIME PAYMENT FEE. (a) A person convicted of an offense shall pay, in addition to all other costs, a fee of $25 if the person:
(2) pays any part of a fine, court costs, or restitution on or after the 31st day after the date on which a judgment is entered assessing the fine, court costs, or restitution.”
Garza said she was also told failing to pay the fee would result in an arrest warrant.
“I had to pay the $25 because if I didn’t pay them, then they were going to issue a warrant for my arrest and the $25 was going to go up to $80,” she said.
The woman claimed she was not made aware of the Texas state law until after she completed her payment plan.
"So, I’m just trying to see who’s right or wrong. Am I wrong? Are they right? I’m just trying to get some answers,” said Garza.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Laguna Vista City Manager Rolando Vela. He said the municipal court will do its part in preventing any misunderstandings in the future.
"The problem that occurred here is that this individual was not informed about this fee. So the town apologizes for that, for not doing that,” he said.
Garza warned Valley drivers to always be cautious of the extra costs.