Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but I'm sorry to say - this is a strict liability issue. You used the road, and therefore the tolls must be paid. It's unfortunately not a legal defense that you forgot to update the tags on your car, because that's your responsibility, just like registering a new vehicle. What they'll tell you is that, if you didn't have time to get the EZ pass updated, you should have paid cash or not used the toll roads.
Inability to pay is also not a defense. I'm telling you this because, in my experience, the people who operate the tolls are not all that willing to work with you. The law is 100% on their side. They do not waive fees when they didn't make a mistake. You can ask if they're willing to accept payments in installments. Just be prepared for the possibility that they might refuse. The penalties will continue to increase until you are able to pay them in full. So if there's any way you can borrow the money or otherwise come up with a way to pay, it will save you money in the long run.