The editorial board at the
Porterville Recorder recently spoke out against traffic ticket add-ons in Barstow, Mojave,
and other locales in Central California.
Citing examples like the $20 cellphone ticket that can be as much as $200
and the $35 ticket that can wind up costing $500, the editors concluded
that penalty assessments are “a difficult thing for anyone to handle,”
regardless of their income. The editors criticized the amnesty as too
limited, and called upon the Legislature to end penalty assessments or
at least dramatically reduce them.
Rather ironically, penalty assessments paid for the sparkling new South
County Justice Facility in Porterville.
Traffic Ticket Secondary Costs
Under the first penalty assessment laws of the 1960s, traffic violators
paid a few extra dollars that went to traffic-related programs, like road
maintenance. Today, penalty assessments greatly outweigh the fines (the
formula is $29 in penalty assessments for every $10 in fines), and in
times of “budgetary crisis,” the money goes
straight to the General Fund. In other words, penalty assessments are back-door tax increases that
require no popular vote or politician accountability.
Penalty assessment are the only indirect costs. Additionally, most traffic
tickets cause auto insurance rates to
skyrocket. Due to legal restrictions, driving record is about the only effective
way that insurance companies can measure risk, so the effect is magnified greatly.
The good news is that, since the county must remit most of the revenue
to the state, prosecutors are often willing to reduce the penalty assessments,
if the motorist has a legitimate defense and an effective legal advocate.
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
to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-349-9755.