Judges cannot offer assistance or relief when it comes to court costs. N.C.G.S. 7A-304(a) denies a judicial official the ability to waive court cost without a written finding of “just cause,” supported by findings of fact and conclusions of law. Thus, turning traffic court costs into a politically influenced issue.
At least if your client receives active time they are safe from the burden of court costs. Or not. Statutory changes removed the special consideration regarding a natural (and common-sense) theory that waived court costs for those who receive active time. So with the exception of asking the court costs to be transferred to a civil judgment, even confinement won’t save our clients any money.
Our clients are not even safe when parked. N.C.G.S. 20-219.2, which applies to specific counties and cities, authorizes an increase in fines for unauthorized parking in private lots, rising from a cap of $100, to the current base of $150.
Another disturbing trend is the arrest of individuals on show-cause orders for failure to pay costs and fines for infractions. While smaller counties have had to, based on anecdotal research, deal with this sort of thing for years, most attorneys consistently advised their clients that although a failure to pay would have a negative effect on their license (revocation), that they would not be arrested (especially considering an infraction is not an offense that one can lawfully be arrested or serve active time for)!
Driving is expensive. One minor citation should not be cost-prohibitive for otherwise law-abiding citizens. Economic devastation is not a fear we should associate with the blue lights of those we trust to protect and serve.
The top rated traffic attorneys at Garrett, Walker and Aycoth can protect you from high costs. Contact us today at 336-379-0539.