Everyone would appreciate a little amnesty from time to time. Fortunately, today’s California drivers have the option to receive it through the amnesty program.
The definition of the word “amnesty” is a pardon or forgiveness of something that a person owes.
The state of California has a special amnesty program for drivers who have unpaid traffic tickets. The goal of the program is to give drivers with outstanding tickets a chance to bounce back and clear up their obligations. The amnesty program is a one-time arrangement that will allow them to pay off an old ticket under certain provisions.
The following is some information on the program and how it can help a driver to clean up any traffic garbage that he or she may have on the record.
What Is the Amnesty Program
The amnesty program is something that the state offers to drivers who have not paid their traffic fines for a long time. The program became available as on October of 2015 and it is available to people who have fines that were outstanding as of January 1, 2013 and had not been paid since.
- The program allows qualified applicants to pay only 50 to 80 percent of their original traffic fine debt.
- The drivers can then have their licenses reinstated if the license is suspended because of the delinquent payment.
- Speeding tickets cost a little over $200 in California so the violator may only have to pay $40 to get rid of the obligation using the amnesty program.
- The percentage of the fine depends on the person’s income and how it relates to the federal poverty level.
- A driver can receive the 80 percent discount if he or she has an income that is less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level.
Qualifications for the Amnesty Program
To qualify for the amnesty program, the applicant has to have an outstanding ticket(s) that he or she has not paid since January 1, 2013. The program only counts for fines that have not been paid after September of 2015. An alternative program is available for a person who has made a payment after such a date.
A small group of individuals may be deemed ineligible for the program. Those people are:
- Felony traffic offenders
- Reckless driving offenders
- DUI offenders
- Parking ticket recipients
- People who have to pay restitution
The Pros and Cons of the Amnesty Program
The amnesty program has positive and negative aspects to it.
- One positive aspect is that a struggling driver can easily have his or her license restored by joining the program.
- The negative aspect is that the driver pleads guilty by accepting the amnesty program.
- Therefore, the points for the offense still go on the person’s driver’s license and stay on there for several years.
The other aspect of the amnesty program is that it has costs associated with it. Those who enroll for the program must pay a program fee and license reinstatement fee along with the cost of the discounted ticket.
How an Attorney Can Help
A driver can hire an attorney for roughly the same amount of money that it would cost him or her to enroll in the amnesty program.
- The attorney can have the traffic fine dismissed altogether which would free the driver from any points associated with the driving offense.
- Avoiding violation points is important because violation points can make a driver’s insurance rates skyrocket.
Law firms and attorneys can be contacted to discuss your case in length and determine the best possible course of action for your outstanding traffic tickets in case you for the amnesty program.