Bay Area officials say that the number of car impounds has tripled in the
last six years to become the city’s top crime, and the story is
much the same in Bakersfield and Fresno.
In most cases, the
suspensions occurred because the state suspended or revoked the drivers’ licenses
due to unpaid traffic tickets. Officials add that a majority of the impounded
vehicles are never reclaimed, because the fees may run into the thousands
of dollars and it is cheaper to buy another car.
There is no doubt that California’s traffic ticket policies are very
hard on the middle class. A recent survey by the Federal Reserve indicated
that persons with an income under $40,000 struggle to pay a $400 emergency expense.
License Suspension in California
When drivers miss a court date for a traffic ticket, whether they had a
valid excuse or not, the state automatically adds $300 to the amount due
on each ticket and suspends their drivers’ licenses. Making matters
worse, the drivers may have no idea that the state took this action, because
the suspension notices often go to the wrong addresses.
There are basically three different sections of the Vehicle Code that govern
license suspension and vehicle impoundment:
VC 14601 makes driving while license suspended a jailable offense. In some cases,
even after the person’s license is reinstated and the case is over,
the judge can place additional restrictions on the person’s ability to drive.
VC 14601.1 lays out some of the reasons for drivers’ license suspension. The
two largest categories are a failure to pay traffic tickets and a points-based
suspension. Moreover, VC 14601.1 says there is an absolute presumption
that the defendant received notice if the DMV mailed it.
VC 23592 authorizes the state to impound a vehicle for up to six months; in most
cases, the period is 30 days for nonpayment of traffic tickets.
Contact a lawyer immediately if your vehicle was impounded, because it
may not be too late to save it.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger and Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.