In a program that could also offer relief for some people in Fresno and Bakersfield, officials in Los Angeles are trying to do something about the oppressive fines that haunt California’s poorest people.
City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that the city will fund an initiative that forgives traffic tickets in exchange for entrance into an addiction treatment facility, or acceptance of other social services, and performance of community service. There will be at least six clinics a year from the Antelope Valley to Long Beach over the next three years, and eligible people will be bussed into Los Angeles from remote areas. In an April pilot clinic, 100 people lined up before the doors opened. One individual had accumulated over $14,000 in fines and add-ons.
Some homeless advocates insist the program doesn’t go far enough. Venice attorney John Raphling, who conducts ticket defense clinics, likened the effort to “put[ting] a fig leaf on the really oppressive enforcement they’re doing.”
The numbers are startling: 4.8 million people – nearly a fourth of the licensed drivers in California – currently have an invalid license, because collectively, they owe an estimated $10.2 billion in fines, penalty assessments, and add-ons. People with suspended licenses are really in a pickle, to say the least. They can ignore the suspension and continue driving, and face even more trouble when they are almost inevitably pulled over again, or stop driving and probably lose their jobs. Governor Brown predicted this dilemma over a year ago, but Sacramento politicians rarely have the restraint to quit spending the money that fines and assessments provide. And now, here we are.
The current penalty assessment formula is $29 for every $10 in fines, or portion thereof. To make matters worse, many courts are slashing staff and operating hours to cope with budget cuts. With so much money at stake and so little help available, it’s more important than ever to invest in a traffic ticket attorney. As a bonus, a lawyer can make your court appearance for you, so you can keep to your busy schedule.
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.