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Legislative Update: Drivers' License Division

Drivers in Visalia and Porterville who are looking forward to drivers’ license suspension relief from the Legislature will have to keep waiting.

The wait for Senate Bill 881 to pass is starting to look like the wait for hostage release negotiations to end. Over six months since its introduction in the Senate, the measure is stuck in committee in the state Assembly. The measure appears to enjoy bipartisan support, and several state newspapers have endorsed it, but so far, all the accolades and positive press have not meant anything.

Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s proposal would end the automatic $300 civil penalty and mandatory license suspension for failure to appear, at least in some cases.

Drivers’ License Suspension

At first glance, S.B. 881 seems to be a boon for the estimated four million Californians who are driving on suspended licenses at this very moment. But on closer examination, the proposed law does not provide much help.

Ending the $300 civil penalty is nice, but the full fine and penalty assessments still apply, and in nearly all cases, this amount substantially outweighs the civil penalty. If enacted, the law only applies to a willful failure to pay. So, persons who did not receive actual notice of the suspension may have a defense (although it is rather tenuous), but everyone else is out of luck. Finally, S.B. 881 is not retroactive, which means that there is no relief to those whose licenses have already been suspended.

In most cases, an attorney can reverse a DL suspension in as little as one day with no court appearance required by the client. Once the tickets are back on the docket, a lawyer can fight the case and get the tickets thrown out or at least get the penalties reduced. This remedies are available whether your drivers’ license was suspended a week ago or a decade ago.

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.