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'Pay Or Stay'

In a case that made headlines here in Bakersfield, a Michigan man died in jail as he was serving time for failing to pay $772 in traffic ticket fines and costs.

According to the court transcript, a judge told David Stojcevski that he would either have to pay the money or be incarcerated for 30 days. When he was booked into the Macomb County Jail, he told officials that he was addicted to painkillers. He went into withdrawal almost immediately, and died naked on the floor of an isolation cell about halfway through his sentence.

The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter of protest to the Justice Department, claiming that Mr. Stojcevski’s “pay or stay” sentence was illegal; local officials countered that he had already been held in contempt twice and never introduced any evidence of inability to pay.

Traffic Ticket Outcomes

To clarify, there is a difference between refusing to pay and inability to pay. Most courts also require delinquent defendants to at least make a good-faith effort to obtain the money.

When an attorney handles a traffic ticket in Shafter or Lamont, there is normally one of three outcomes:

  • Reduction: During plea bargaining, an experienced attorney can get the fine and/or points reduced agreement.
  • Probation: This outcome is quite common in cases that involve drivers’ license suspension. In this situation, there is no punishment as long as the driver gets no additional tickets for a certain amount of time.
  • Elimination: If there is a legal or factual defense, or a lack of evidence, the judge often throws out the case.

As an added bonus, an attorney can appear for you in most courts, so you can stay on the road instead of waiting for your name to be called.

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 attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.