For some people in California, a traffic violation can result in a fine so high that it is not able to be paid. The financial hardship that can result can add insult to injury for people in this situation. In addition, when a driver’s license suspension is part of the equation, people can experience severe hardships due to some very minor infractions. Two years ago, the state of California’s Governor signed a bill that created a one-time program granting amnesty to some of these people.
The goal of the program was to give drivers a chance to clear their records and have a fresh start. Excluded from the program were drivers with reckless driving, drunk driving or other misdemeanor offenses on record as well as drivers with unpaid parking tickets. Any driver who had active arrest warrants or were required to pay restitution to other parties were also inelligible for participation.
People who were eligible were potentially able to reduce the amount they had to pay by up to 80 percent of the amount owed. The exact amount of money taken off the fines owed was based in part by drivers’ income levels. In additoin to fine reductions, holds on suspended licenses may be released. If drivers had been making payments on their fines but were delinquent they could not have the fines reduced but might have been able to get marks regarding failure to pay or appear in court removed from records. This program ended in early April.
After receiving a traffic ticket, it may help to talk with an attorney to learn what unique options might be available to help them.
Source: KPBS.org, “California Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program Ends Monday,” April 3, 2017