Fresno Bee joined the chorus of voices pushing for change in the penalty assessment
system, but so far, all the talk and horror stories have had little impact
on everyday drivers in Kings County.
Editors heartily endorsed Senate Bill 881, a pending bill sponsored by
Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), which would end the practice of suspending
drivers’ licenses for unpaid traffic tickets in Ridgecrest, at least
in most cases. Sen. Hertzberg, who also enthusiastically supported the
ticket amnesty and sponsored a successful measure to expand it, says he
eventually wants to place traffic ticket fines on a sliding scale based
on what people can afford.
S.B. 881 is set for a hearing before the Senate Transportation and Housing
Committee later this spring.
Penalty Assessment Reform
A “sliding scale” is not exactly the kind of reform that is needed, because sliding
scales go both down and up, depending on the person’s perceived
ability to pay. Sen. Hertzberg acknowledged that his eventual plan would
“create a hole [that] we have to fill,” and I think we can
safely predict that the filling will not come from additional taxes. There
is a related issue as well: there is a difference between unable to pay
and unwilling to pay, and those two things often overlap.
The current penalty assessment formula is
$29 for every $10 in fines or portion thereof. It almost boggles the mind to think about how high
penalty assessments could get for some drivers, if the Legislature ever
does adopt a sliding scale.
No matter what happens, a lawyer will be there to advocate for you, work
to bring about the best possible outcome, and, in most cases, appear on
your behalf in traffic court. These are three very big reasons to have
an experienced attorney on your side.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to
giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets.
Call today at 661-349-9300 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-349-9755.