According to some, drivers in Delano and Ridgecrest are just the more obvious
victims of a system that has gone horribly awry.
In California, a speeding ticket may cost $490 in fines, penalty assessments,
and add-ons. A missed deadline or court date brings the total to
over $800, which is far more than most low or moderate wage-earners can afford,
particularly if they have dependents to support. In Ferguson, Missouri,
where police shot and killed a black teenager in August 2014, the issues
are eerily similar. A woman who was cited for illegal parking in 2007
owed over $500 seven years later. She was arrested twice and spent six
days in jail, primarily because she couldn’t afford to pay the fine.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch claimed the fine and fees system amounted
to “the criminalization of poverty.”
The direct costs of a traffic ticket in California are only the beginning.
According to one estimate, the actual cost is about
twenty times the fine, and even this figure may be a little low.
Much of the expense is due to increased insurance rates which last at least
three years. Because insurance companies in California operate under such
tight consumer protective regulations, about the only way to assess risk
is to examine a driving record. So, even non-point violations may trigger
higher premiums, in some cases.
The higher rates do not automatically go down. Instead, after three years,
consumers may be able to get a better rate from another company, because
they may no longer be classified as high risk drivers.
There are other secondary costs in addition to higher premiums, and not
all of them have a concrete dollar value. These costs include:
- Lost wages from dealing with court appearances,
- Missed family time,
- Added stress, and
Possible travel expenses (especially in the case of a
federal traffic ticket).
An attorney can save you both money and time, by getting the penalties
reduced and appearing for you in court.
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.