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A California man says he's being "fleeced" by the Curry County court.
Thaddeus Forsythe, of Simi Valley, also called the traffic fine and dispute resolution system a "racket." This past August, Mr. Forsythe was ticketed for running a stop sign. He claims he is not guilty, but if he does not want to pay the $71 fine, he must pay $600 for round-trip airfare to fight the ticket in court. Citing procedural rules and Constitutional prohibitions, the judge refused to discuss the case with Mr. Forsythe and refused to hold a trial by telephone.
If he does not show up for the trial, a warrant will be issued for his arrest and the DMV will not allow him to renew his license.
Ticket Add-Ons
Some California residents may express similar opinions about penalty assessments. Defendants have been required to pay a few dollars in court costs, along with a fine, for about as long as there have been courts, but these costs dramatically increased in the late 1990s.
The current formula in Kern County is $29 per every $10 in fines, or portion thereof. For example, an $85 ticket carries $261 ($29 x 9) in penalty assessments. Local governments are also allowed to tack on court costs. Clerk's fees, night court fees, building funds, judicial retirement funds and record storage fees are just a few examples. Los Angeles County charges about $150 in court costs, plus a 20 percent "criminal surcharge fee" in some cases. So, in L.A., that $85 ticket costs about $400.
There are also indirect costs associate with traffic tickets. If they do not have an attorney, many people must take several days off from work to be in court. The points assessed against your license can drive up your auto insurance rates and even cause your license to be suspended. There are significant costs associated with missing a court date, higher insurance premiums and license reinstatement fees.
An attorney regularly practicing in Fresno can help you avoid some or all of these costs, by getting the fine and/or the points eliminated or reduced.

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