Officials in Los Angeles County will have to go to court to defend the
same drivers’ license suspension procedure that’s in effect
in Fresno County.
The Western Center on Law and Poverty claims that the automatic suspension
for failure to pay tickets is unsupported by the language in the statute,
which says that only a “willful” failure to pay triggers license
suspension. Most clients would like to pay,” claims attorney Antionette
Dozier, but they simply do not have the money.
In a related move the WCLP sent a letter to the DMV, which says that the
automatic suspension policy is
an “unlawful practice.”
The provision at issue is
VC 40509.5, which states that if “a person has willfully failed to pay a lawfully
imposed fine,” the clerk “may” give notice of the violation
to the DMV which then suspends the person’s license. That language
certainly indicates that the system is not automatic, but there is no
hearing before the clerk takes action and, in most cases, no official
determination that the failure to pay was willful.
There are probably no such procedures in Fresno County and elsewhere because
doing so would clog the courts with hearings and force judges to ask pointed
questions that no one really wants to answer, such as “why didn’t
you come to your scheduled court date and tell me you couldn’t afford
to pay?” or “you couldn’t afford a $25 per month payment
An attorney can advocate for you in court to
get the fines reduced to something that you can realistically afford, ending the drama over
40509.5 license suspension.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
email@example.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.