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Unpaid Tolls in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide

As you travel the highways of Texas, you’re likely to encounter toll roads. In fact, Texas has hundreds of miles of toll roads. All those toll roads make many wonder what if they could get arrested for unpaid tolls in Texas.

Quick Answer: Can You Be Arrested for Unpaid Tolls in Texas?

You generally cannot be arrested for unpaid tolls in Texas, even if you are a habitual offender who has been banned from the tollway and continues to drive on toll roads. However, you can be arrested for failure to appear on a toll evasion citation if you 1) received notice of nonpayment in the mail, 2) fail to make payment, 3) receive a citation for Toll Evasion, and 4) then fail to appear for the citation in court or resolve the citation.

Toll Roads in Texas

Some of the most significant toll roads in Texas are:

  1. Addison Airport Toll Tunnel (AATT): The Addison Airport Toll Tunnel, with a length of 1.4 miles, is a toll tunnel in Addison, Texas, north of Dallas.
  2. Alliance Gateway Freeway (FM 1709): The Alliance Gateway Freeway is a highway in the U.S. state of Texas, maintaining a stretch from Interstate 35W to U.S. Highway 377.
  3. Camino Colombia Toll Road (SH 255): The Camino Colombia Toll Road, also known as Texas State Highway 255 (SH 255), is a toll road in Laredo, Texas, Webb County.
  4. Central Texas Turnpike System (CTTS): The Central Texas Turnpike System (CTTS) is a complex of toll roads in the Austin, Texas area.
  5. Chisholm Trail Parkway (CTP): The Chisholm Trail Parkway is a 27.6-mile toll road in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
  6. Dallas North Tollway (DNT): The Dallas North Tollway is a 30.2-mile controlled-access toll road operated by the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), which runs from Interstate 35E near downtown Dallas, Texas, to U.S. Highway 380, in Frisco, Texas.
  7. Fort Bend Parkway: The Fort Bend Parkway is a toll road in the U.S. state of Texas, maintained by the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority.
  8. Grand Parkway (SH 99): The Grand Parkway, designated as State Highway 99 (SH 99), is a highway in Texas, United States that opened its first section in 1994.
  9. Hardy Toll Road (HTR): The Hardy Toll Road runs from Interstate 610, near central Houston, to Interstate 45, north of Houston, just short of the Harris-Montgomery county line.
  10. Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge (LLTB): The Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge is a toll bridge crossing Lewisville Lake in the U.S. state of Texas, located entirely within Denton County.
  11. Loop 49 Tollway: Loop 49, also known as Toll 49, is a toll road that, along with I-20, encircles the city of Tyler, Texas.
  12. Mountain Creek Lake Bridge (MCLB): The Mountain Creek Lake bridge is a tolled causeway located in Dallas, Texas.
  13. President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT): The President George Bush Turnpike is a 52-mile toll road running through the northern, northeastern and western suburbs, forming a partial loop around Dallas, Texas, United States.
  14. Sam Houston Tollway (SHT): The Sam Houston Tollway, including the connecting Sam Houston Ship Channel Bridge, is a toll road in the Houston area, maintained by the Harris County Toll Road Authority.
  15. SH 130: State Highway 130, also known as the Pickle Parkway, is a highway from Interstate 35 north of Georgetown to US 183 south of Austin, Texas.
  16. SH 121/Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT): The Sam Rayburn Tollway (formerly State Highway 121 Tollway) extends northeastward from Business State Highway 121 near Coppell to U.S. Highway 75 in McKinney, a total distance of more than 26 miles.
  17. SH 242: State Highway 242 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Texas.
  18. SH 249 Tollway: The State Highway 249 Tollway, also known as the Tomball Tollway, is a tolled section of State Highway 249 in Harris and Montgomery counties, Texas.
  19. SH 360 Tollway: The State Highway 360 Tollway, located in the Mid-Cities region of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex in the U.S. state of Texas.
  20. Westpark Tollway (WPT): The Westpark Tollway is a limited-access toll road serving western Houston.

texas has hundreds of miles of toll roads

For many, a toll tag is a convenient method of payment, but what happens when these tolls remain unpaid? This article aims to clarify the legal implications and potential consequences of unpaid tolls in Texas.

Understanding Toll Tags In Texas

A toll tag, in the context of Texas, is a device attached to a vehicle’s windshield. It enables automatic deduction of toll fees when the vehicle passes through toll stations, offering a seamless driving experience. However, it’s essential to keep your toll tag account sufficiently funded to avoid any legal complications.

Legal Implications Of Unpaid Tolls In Texas

According to Texas law, specifically Section 370.177 of the Texas Transportation Code, failure to pay a toll can result in a criminal misdemeanor charge for toll evasion. If found guilty, the registered owner of the vehicle could face fines of up to $250 per unpaid toll, along with court administrative fees.

Consequences Of Habitual Violation

In Texas, a habitual violator is defined as a motorist who has not paid two or more toll violations within a year. If you fall into this category, you may face additional penalties, including being banned from the tollway.

Vehicles in violation can be ticketed and impounded. Moreover, habitual violators may face potential blocking of their vehicle registration renewal, adding another layer of complexity to the situation.

The Misconception: Can You Be Arrested?

A common misconception is that one can be arrested for not paying tolls in Texas. While it’s true that unpaid tolls can lead to legal issues, you won’t be arrested for the unpaid tolls themselves. However, if you fail to appear in court after being notified of toll evasion, this could potentially lead to jail time.

How To Pay Tolls In Texas

There are several options for paying tolls in Texas. These include the TxTag website and the Tollmate app, both of which offer convenient online payment methods. You can also pay in person at a TxTag Customer Service Center or by mail. It’s important to pay tolls promptly to avoid additional fines and potential legal complications.

Conclusion

While unpaid tolls in Texas may not lead to arrest, they can result in significant legal complications, including fines, impounding of vehicles, and potential jail time for failure to appear in court.

Varghese Summersett is a premier criminal defense firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal law and represent clients charged with crimes at both the state and federal level. We handle everything from DWI to capital murder to white collar crime. Collectively, our attorneys bring together more than 100 years of criminal law experience and have tried more than 550 cases before Texas juries. All of our senior attorneys served as former state or federal prosecutors and four are Board Certified in Criminal law, the highest designation an attorney can reach. We are the firm people turn to when the stakes are high and they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. - Contact Varghese at  
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