Are you one of the 4.73 million Californians who had your license suspended because you were unable to pay mounting traffic fines? You may find relief in California's state amnesty program for unpaid traffic tickets. Once you pay off the reduced traffic fines, you may be able to have your license reinstated, and get back on the road.
California is one of many states that have come under fire for policies related to traffic violations. If drivers are not able to pay the related fines, then additional fees are tacked on. These extra fees can end up tripling, or even quadrupling the cost for the original violation. If these fines remain unpaid, then the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may suspend your license.
A suspended license can have a serious impact on a person's life when they need their vehicle to get to work, get to school, or take care of their kids. Unfortunately, without any other option, some people continue to drive on a suspended license. Driving on a suspended license can be a misdemeanor offense, with the penalties including time in the county jail, and even more fines.
As of October 1st, 2015, drivers will be able to pay off outstanding tickets at a reduced rate, from 50% to 80% off, depending on the individual's income. The partial amnesty program will apply to tickets originally due before January 1, 2013. In addition, the penalty fines will be waived, greatly reducing what drivers will owe to the state. There is even a payment program available so that drivers can pay off their fines over time.
Governor Jerry Brown, who signed the amnesty bill back in June, was critical of the state's traffic ticketing and fine system, calling it “a hellhole of desperation” for people who could not afford to pay the penalties, and lost their driver's license. One local woman told ABC 7 news that she had gotten a $300 ticket which eventually ballooned into a fine of almost $6,000. With the amnesty program, she is happy to be able to finally take care of her ticket.
The amnesty program is sent to end on March 31, 2017, and may include an amnesty fee of $50. For drivers who got a suspended license as the result of unpaid fines, there is also a provision that will allow for their license to be reinstated, for an additional fee of $55. Unfortunately, if your driver's license was suspended because of a DUI, the amnesty program does not apply to DUI offenses, and will not help you get your license back. Consider contacting your DUI attorney for questions about having your license reinstated.
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people facing a DUI and other traffic-related charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Lynn Gorelick will conduct an in-depth investigation, including obtaining all video and audio evidence, in order to fight for your rights. Call the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands how to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.