View Full Version : Advice re contact US embassy/immigration
10-07-2009, 12:21 PM
Before I start I am fully aware that this is not the correct place to look for legal guidence and i promise im not.
Any way:), back in 2003 whilst travelling through Illionis I got a $70 speeding fine. I gave the officer my UK driving licence (but i dont recall giving him my pasport) and he filled in a ticket before allowing me on my way. I then managed to lose said ticket and rather stupidly decided that instead of trying to contact the appropriate people and sort it out id go on and enjoy my time in the US and sort it out when i got home. Well..... it never did get sort! I KNOW - IDIOT.
Since then i have returned to the states 3 times (orlando each time) and have never given it a second thought, its never come up at immigration and until now ive havent worried about. I also have an ESTA which states i am approved for travel. However I recently came across a thread on another site where one of the posters had heard of people being refused entry and deported for non payment of fines:scared1:
Has anyone had an experience of a non paid fine? I have no problem in paying the fine but dont know how/who to contact. Ive looked at the embassy website but not really sure what to do. The last thing i want to do is ring the embassy and have someone chasing a fine that can not be linked to me or my passport. I cant see the embassy staff being pleased with me and I dont want to open a can of worms if i dont have to, if you catch my drift.
Thanks for reading and any advice will be greatly appriciated. Like i said at the beginning of the post i am aware that i cant asked for legal guidence on here:)
10-07-2009, 02:08 PM
If you are really worried I would call the sheffi(?)/police department of where the ticket was actually issued. They can tell you if you have anything outstanding, like a fine etc... and then how to proceed from there.
Calling immigration directly would be a headache not only for you but for them and also put a red flag on your name.
10-07-2009, 02:10 PM
Oh I just re-read your post, if you can't remember the town/area then call the Illionis State Police as they would have juristriction (Again I can't spell for beans).
10-07-2009, 02:25 PM
Thanks Dj. It was my feeling that calling the embassy/immigration would just cause a headache and possibly red flag my name too.
I honestly haver got a clue where the ticket was picked up other than the I57 or I70.
The missis thinks I should just leave it and up until know I haven't given it a second thought but I'm not so sure now.
10-07-2009, 05:31 PM
You should pay the fine. You don't want to run the risk of the city or state turning the information over to Immigrations, and your name coming up on a list. You need to contact the courthouse in the city or town the fine was issued. They will ask you for the number on the ticket, and the clerk will let you know how much the fine is.
10-07-2009, 06:07 PM
i would leave it! as you have said,you really don't want to be opening a can of worms,even getting in touch,with the sheriffs department,may have repercussions.if you have travelled,previously & had no problem,then i would leave it at that.
i am not saying do not pay it,to be dishonest & save a few bob,but to save you,a potential headache.
10-08-2009, 12:35 AM
I'm firmly in the "leave it" camp.
10-08-2009, 01:31 AM
i think you should leave it as well ;)
10-08-2009, 02:46 AM
Definately leave it, the only way of tracing you was if the car was a rental. they would have passed tha fine onto them years ago, it appears they have not done that or the rental company would have been in touch.
Without details of your passport they cant link it to you.
10-08-2009, 09:37 AM
I got a speeding ticket and parking ticket in 2007 in New Hampshire, I mislaid both of them whilst there moving from one hotel to the next, I completely forgot about it when i returned in 2008, to the same place, and never gave it a thought till i read your post.
We go to florida in 2 weeks time and although generally i am a honest person, I will not be volunteering this fact.
I would say that this sort of thing happens all the time, and i would imagine its just not cost effective to chase.
10-08-2009, 10:15 AM
I'd leave it to, like you say you've been over a few times and it obviously isn't in the system.
If it had been passed along you would of had a fine through the post via the rental agency (like we did a few months ago!)
10-08-2009, 03:56 PM
DH (who is a US citizen) got a speeding fine a couple of years ago. We were on the way to the airport it was dark and pouring down so he missed the change in speed sign. Anyway he got a ticket for over $200 the first thing he did when we got back home was to pay it. He said he did not want that coming back to bite him on future trips that we had out there. The US authorities do not let these things go lightly. I don't know about the OP but DH had to show his passport when he was pulled over and his details were checked to make sure that there was nothing against his name!
10-09-2009, 03:20 AM
If your ticket had been linked to your passport you would have been denied entry to the US by now, or worse, arrested on entry and hauled off to a courthouse to sort out the ticket.
I personally would leave it, however if you want to be honest and pay it the only way to do it would be to anonymously email one of the Circuit Courts (http://www.state.il.us/court/Links/circuit.asp) in Illinois (they deal with traffic violations) and ask them what would need to be done to look up a 6 year old unpaid ticket and how to pay from the UK, they'll be able to sort it out from there.
10-10-2009, 10:47 AM
Thanks for all the replys.
I certainly wasn't looking for pay it/leave it responses but the number of people saying 'leave it' has given me confidence and certainly made me more relaxed. As many of you have pointed out it wold more than likely have come up on subsequent visits if it was going to.
Thanks also for the info on contacting the courts/sherif.
The truth is if I had the ticket/ticket number or even any idea what town I was in this would have been sorted as soon as I realised. I am going to try and anominously email the courts in Illionis, as suggested by one of the posters because at heart I'm not really a bad boy;)
We are travelling the week after next so not sure anything will be sorted by then. If I don't post for a while it could because I'm serving hard time:scared1:
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