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Solano County creates program other counties may want

It would almost be impossible to think that there could be a person in California who has never received even so much as one traffic ticket. To some, getting that occasional speeding ticket may seem annoying but can be chalked up to a normal thing. However, for many people the fines that go along with even the most minor infraction can be simply unpayable because their budgets do not have this kind of extra income.

Too many Californians end up having their licenses suspended and having additional fees added onto what they owe the state if they don't pay a first fine on time. This only makes the prospect of them being able to pay their fine even less likely. Earlier this summer the state legislature banned the practice of suspending drivers' licenses simply because they haven't paid tickets. However, Solana County recently made a decision that goes a whole lot further and offers a lot more relief to people. Its approach is something other counties in the state may be wanting to watch or implement.

In brief, people who owe money for a traffic ticket can apply for assistance and, if they meet the low-income qualification, may be able to perform community service instead of paying fines, have their fines reduced or set up payment plans. This program is also available for people with outstanding tickets or suspensions.

No longer does the receipt of a traffic ticket need to mean an automatic hardship for people who have limited incomes. Talking to an attorney in these situations may offer new insights into how to seek this type of help.

Source: Times Herald Online, "Landmark settlement offers some relief from crushing traffic ticket fines," Tammerlin Drummond, August 17, 2017

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