Some May Lose Driver's Licenses For Unpaid Court Fees
by Scott Arnold
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One out of ten people in Davidson County could lose their
driver's license when a new state law goes into effect.
second, about 250 people a day with unpaid court fines in Davidson County could
have their licenses suspended.
there are $40 million in unpaid court fines every year in Davidson County. To
ease the problem, Judge Casey Moreland started to hold a special docket twice a
week, just to recoup some of those fines.
In 2011, they
pulled in $2 million, but then court officials started noticing a trend.
only people who were paying were people that had driver's license related
offenses," said Tommy Bradley, chief clerk at the Criminal Court Clerk's
He pushed for
a new state law that if people haven't paid their fines one year after their
court date, their driver's licenses will be suspended. The law took effect last
July, so next month drivers will start to lose their licenses.
A year from
now, the number could reach 65,000.
going to make them pay their court costs. The bad news is it's going to make
our other dockets larger because these folks are going to be losing their
license," says Judge Moreland.
If you owe money,
you can ask the court for a payment plan – paying just $15 a month. You could
also ask for a 6 month hardship extension. Or if you are indigent, court costs
could be waived all together.
the court system say everyone should pay their fines, not just a few.
not fair to other defendants that they pay their costs, and other people
be relieved," says attorney Warrick Robinson.
license is suspended, the Davidson County courts system and Tennessee Department
of Safety will try and warn you four times before they take your license.
To find out
if you have an unpaid court fine, just head over to the Metro Nashville
Criminal Court Clerk's website, or the Department of Safety.