Few inconveniences in life are as annoying as receiving a traffic fine. Sure, you know you’ve done something wrong; but the crime seems so small, and the fines so large. Many will simply sigh and relegate themselves to paying the fines. Others refuse to pay their fines.
It would be nice to think of these people as some sort of traffic fine vigilantes, refusing to pay out of disgust for the seemingly disproportionate punishment. However, many who receive traffic fines cannot afford to pay them.
Often, they must commit to payment plans, but hiccups in employment or financial troubles can create a snowball effect. Once you are delinquent on a traffic fine, collection agencies will start to tack on fees. They will alert the DMV, who will suspend your driver’s license. This makes earning money to pay off the fines nearly impossible. All the while, your total fines continue to increase.
It is no surprise, then, that traffic fines tend to impact low-income and minority Californians the most. In an effort to curb the problem, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law an amnesty program for old traffic tickets which will run from October 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017. If you have unpaid traffic fines making life difficult for you, you may be eligible for the program.
The Ins-and-Outs of California’s Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program
Beginning October 1, 2015, you will be eligible for the program if you have an unpaid ticket which was originally due on or before January 1, 2013, but have not made payment after June 24, 2015.
The program allows you to reduce your fine amount by 50%. If your yearly income is 125% or less than the federal poverty level, then you will qualify to have the ticket amount reduced by 80%. For a single person, this amount is $14,712. For a family of four, this is $30,312. Along with the discount, you may be eligible to have your driver’s license reinstated.
If you received an infraction or violation related to a “failure to appear,” you may be eligible for the program, but this does not extend to parking tickets, reckless driving or DUI offenses. If you owe victim restitution or have any outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants, you will likewise not be eligible.
How You Can Participate
Once the program has started, contact the superior court in the jurisdiction in which you received your ticket to participate. You will have to pay a $50 fee to the court and a $55 fee to the DMV if you are having your license reinstated.
Traffic tickets may seem like a minor hassle, but they can create long term barriers to financial success. If you have received a traffic ticket or have questions about the amnesty program, you should speak to an experienced attorney.
Call the Traffic Ticket Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
At Wallin & Klarich, our traffic attorneys have been fighting for over 30 years to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes in their cases. Let us help you now.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney can help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.