Judge grants injunction stopping driver's license suspensions for unpaid court fees

Published: Dec. 26, 2018 at 6:11 PM EST
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Virginia may be ending license suspensions for failure to pay court fees. The Commonwealth's Attorney for Augusta County said this will impact not just those with suspended licenses, but the general public as well.

In Virginia, licenses are automatically suspended when someone does not pay their court fees. A judge has granted an injunction that prevents the DMV from enforcing this law.

Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Martin said this creates a huge problem. He said suspending licenses is the only thing done to force people to pay these fees. Without it, he said they simply will not pay, shifting the fees to you.

"Right now, the burden for paying for this courthouse and paying for the proceedings within it lies with the criminal. If we no longer collect those fines and costs, that burden is going to fall on the innocent." Martin said.

"It impacts you in the sense that if they don't collect the fines and costs from the people that are responsible for committing the crimes, you're going to have to pay for it in the form of increased taxes."

Martin said increased taxes would be needed to pay these fines.

If license suspensions for unpaid court fees are found unconstitutional, Martin said he is unsure of a way to get people to pay unpaid fees but hopes a solution would be found.