Can I file bankruptcy to avoid enormous traffic fines?

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Can I file bankruptcy to avoid enormous traffic fines?

The traffic tickets were in 2003; driving with a suspended license. I had to leave the state to find employment then after I lost my job and house. I am married now, back in the state with a kid, and my wife cannot work. I work 2 jobs to keep us going and I cannot risk getting arrested for these warrants for unpaid fines. I could not pay them then and they seem to have grown. Is there a statute of limitations? Can I claim a hardship? I am lost.

Asked on December 23, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You sound distraught so please calm down.  I can understand how overwhelming the matter can be but you need to think this through and come up with a solution.  Generally speaking, fines for breaking the law are not dischargeable in bankruptcy so filing would not help you here.  First you need to take care of the warrants.  Having them over your head is not good for you. So, get some legal help with them.  Yes, you need to seek a lawyer's help.  You may qualify for legal aid or see if a local bar association may be able to help you in their pro bono department.  Once the warrants have been quieted then you can make a deal for the unpaid fines.  If there is a statute of limitations or a hardship provision would best be known by the attorney.  Good luck to you.


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