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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
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Experience:  Criminal law experience in both JAG and the civilian sector.
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Is there a statute of limitations in Arizona for a traffic

Resolved Question:

Is there a statute of limitations in Arizona for a traffic violation? specifically speeding and no proof of insurance in 1989 (20 years ago)?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
According to Arizona Statute 28-1601, subsection C., the state should not initiate collection proceedings or attempt to have your license renewal blocked after 36 months following the incident.

This is a newish law put into effect in 2007.

That being said, the court can save itself if one of the following is true:

As long as at least one of the following actions has occurred, a court may initiate collection proceedings on an unpaid civil penalty:
  1. The unpaid civil penalty is less than 36 months old,

  2. The court has a paper or electronic record dated within 36 months of the violation indicating that the responsible person was notified that the civil penalty is due,

  3. The court notified ADOT to suspend the responsible person's driver license,

  4. The court notified either the responsible person or ADOT about the court's request that the person's vehicle registration not be renewed, or

  5. The court has a record of extending the time for payment of the civil penalty or providing for installment payments.

So, if they sent you a notice that payment is due within the last 36 months, they can "preserve" their right.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I just need a little more clarification. We have not been notified of anything being outstanding for 20 years. Are they still within their rights to collect, or have they had to notify us in some way within the past 3 years?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
What I've put above is an interpretation, in the negative, of the actual statute.

The actual statute says:

C. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, the court shall not initiate collection procedures on an unpaid civil penalty, notify the department to suspend a person's driver license, permit or privilege to drive a motor vehicle in this state or notify the department to refuse to renew a vehicle registration for an unpaid civil traffic violation if all of the following apply:

 

1. The unpaid civil penalty is for a traffic violation for which the final disposition occurs more than thirty-six months before the court initiates collection proceedings. (This is true for you).

 

2. The court does not have a paper or electronic record dated within thirty-six months after the traffic violation occurs indicating that the responsible person was notified that the civil penalty is unpaid and due. (This may be true for you, but just because you don't have the notice doesn't mean they don't have something saying they sent you notice.)

 

3. The court has not notified the department to suspend the responsible person's driver license or permit or privilege to drive a motor vehicle in this state. (Did they do this?)

 

4. The court has not notified either the responsible person or the department about the court's request to the department to refuse to renew the responsible person's vehicle registration pursuant to article 5 of this chapter. (Did they do this?)

 

5. The court does not have a record of extending the time for payment of the civil penalty or providing for installment payments. (Did they do this?)

 

Which means if ALL of the things above are true, they can not (sucessfully) initiate collection proceedings and you can raise this statute as a defense. If they can show ANY of the 5 things above, then they have preserved their right to collect.

 

It's nothing to do with notifying you in the last 3 years....but rather, within three years of the actual offense.

Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 15471
Experience: Criminal law experience in both JAG and the civilian sector.
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