Again, I understand your frustration. However, while the jail time was served in lieu of the payment of fines and costs, the surcharges are SEPARATE and apart from the fines/costs assessed by the court.
I do not understand why your son was not approved for the indigency program. It certainly appears from your post, that he falls within the income guidelines. Possibly there was not enough infomation provided on the application. It is hard to say. But, there is nothing from stopping your son from applying for the indigency program again. Remember, it is your son who must fill out the application, sign it and have it notarized.
Below is a link to a DPS page that was updated on January 12, 2012. It contains information and a link to the current application for the indigency program.https://www.txsurchargeonline.com/Indigence.aspx
The program reduces the surcharge amount owed to 10 percent of the total or $250, whichever is less. It will also stop suspension of driving privileges for participants who are making payments, as long as there are no other license restrictions. All surcharge fees assessed on or after September 30, 2004 are eligible for reduction under the indigency program if the application is approved.
Moreover, you may call 1-(866)223-3583 for further information.
Your son and/or you should certainly speak to an attorney who specializes in license restoration. You can contact the Texas Bar Association for a lawyer referral. Below is a link to the applicable page. A 1/2 hour consultation with an attorney is no more than $20.00. You can discuss the specific facts of your case, evaluate your options and decide how to proceed.
An attorney may be able to assist your son with filling out the application for indigency (especially the part that allows for additional information) and/or assist in possibly setting up an installment payment program for the fees. Based on your post, it is doubtful that an attorney may be able to assist you beyond those services. However, it is DEFINITELY worth $20.00 to discuss any possible options.
Since an initial consultation of 1/2 hour is no more than $20.00, it is VERY important that you have as much documentation as possible regarding your son's license. Therefore, your son may wish to order a copy of his driver's license from DPS and take it to the consultation. Moreover, any correspondence that your son has received regarding the surcharge and other fees will be helpful for the attorney. An attorney may be able to help "guide you" through the system and will tell you if s/he is able to help reduce any of the charges/fees.
The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that it is worth a maximum of $20.00 to speak to an attorney who specializes in license restoration. You will then, hopefully, be able to feel some peace in knowing that you have done all that you can to assist your son.
Many states have implemented some type of Driver Responsibility Fee legislation. The legislatures, in at least some circumstances, are looking to increase revenue to the state. However, by requiring the fees to be paid by those least able to pay the fees, it has been argued that the legislatures have set up persons for failure who are trying to regain their license.
In the end, people feel caught up in a vicious cycle. They don't have a driver's license because of unpaid tickets, too many points, etc. However, thy need to work to pay the fees. People then continue to drive to get to work and take the chance that they won't get caught. However, because they do not have valid licenses, they are often pulled over by the police. The police issue traffic citations and the cycle begins again until it becomes an overwhelming, and seemingly impossible feat, to regain their licenses.
I wish you and your son luck.
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