If you have unpaid traffic tickets in California, you may have just missed the deadline to take advantage of the state’s amnesty program. Officials understand that some people don’t pay traffic tickets because they simply can’t afford to, so they wanted to make it easier. An amnesty program was started more than a year ago that allowed people to reduce traffic fines by up to 80 percent. That program is ending on Monday, April 3.
In California, a person who doesn’t pay a traffic citation will see extra fines tacked onto the original one. These civil assessments could tack on an additional $300, making the tickets even more unaffordable for the cash strapped. Anyone who doesn’t pay their tickets may also face license suspension. The amnesty program helped clear more than 200,000 accounts and brought more than $35 million into the state.
Any person who had failed to pay or appear in court after failing to pay prior to January 2013 was eligible for the program. Amnesty was not extended to parking tickets, reckless driving citations or DUI tickets. Those who were ordered to pay restitution to victims were also ineligible. To qualify for amnesty, persons must have been able to prove that they were at 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for the 80 percent reduction. All others were eligible for a 50 percent reduction.
It is unknown if the program will be reinstated in the future, but this one was a success for both those charged and the state’s multiple jurisdictions. If you have received a traffic ticket in New York, you have the right to fight it. Reach out to our team for assistance in standing up for your rights in traffic court.