Man fined, license suspended after paying ticket in installments

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PHOENIX -- A Valley man thought he was doing the right thing when he paid his photo radar ticket, but that's not necessarily the case.

If you choose to pay your photo radar ticket, that's certainly your decision. But let's get this clear. It doesn't mean you're on a layaway plan where you make payments when you want and for how much you want to pay.

It just doesn't work that way.

Robert Ashner, as you might imagine, wasn't happy after receiving a photo radar ticket in the mail. "The anger subsided," he said. "Mostly I was angry at myself for getting the ticket."

Not only that, but the photo radar ticket he got at a Tempe intersection was going to cost $171.

It's a lot of money and Ashner knew he was going to have problems paying it.

So, Ashner had a plan or so he thought.

"I'll send some of it in," he said. "Next month I'll send the rest of it in."

And that's exactly what he did. Ashner mailed in $71 to the court and then mailed in the remaining $100 all before the due date on the ticket.

"And I thought that's the end of it," he said.

But then Ashner got something else in the mail.

"It tells me in the letter I did not pay the complete fine," he said.

Ashner called Tempe Municipal Court, which told him he owed a fee for paying his ticket in two installments without approval and then he got worse news.

"They had assessed a $50 penalty because I didn't pay the $20 service charge and on top of that my license has been suspended," Ashner said.

His license was suspended because he still owed them that $20 service fee and the $50 penalty for not initially paying the fee.

Tempe Municipal Court tells 3 On Your Side that installment payments are allowed in order to pay tickets, but drivers must pay a $20 service charge to do it.

Ashner of course didn't know all of this and wound up getting his license suspended for having what he thought was a fully paid ticket.

Ashner says he's learned an expensive lesson, one he hopes others can learn from, as well

"I'm going out of my way to do the right thing, give them the money and I still get charged to the fullest extent of the law," he said.

Don't forget, you can pay your photo radar ticket in payment plans, but you have to do it with the court's permission and you'll have to pay a service charge to do it.