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With only about a month to go before the deadline, drivers in Barstow hold their breaths as the license suspension bill appears stalled in the California State Senate.

Three different committees have considered Senate Bill 881 since it was introduced in January 2016. The Public Safety Committee endorsed the measure on a 6-1 vote, but sent the bill to another committee instead of the Senate floor. The proposal would write the Supreme Court’s “pay or play” rules change into state law; this rule required drivers in Fresno County and a few other jurisdictions to post the total bail fee before setting a case for trial. S.B. 881 would also end the $300 civil penalty unless there was a willful failure to pay, and end drivers’ license suspensions based solely on a failure to appear.

The full Senate has until June to act on the bill, or else it may need to be reintroduced when the next session opens in August.

Drivers’ License Suspension

The provision does not define “willful” failure to pay, but in tax law, people “willfully” refuse to pay taxes if they paid any other vendors, including the landlord, the electric company, or the grocery store, during the disputed time period. Furthermore, the proposal does nothing about runaway penalty assessments, other than condemn them in a commentary. So, this bill may not be the magic bullet to lower fees that some people thought it would be.

To handle fee-related license suspensions, an attorney can generally get the license suspension order rescinded in a day or two, and then get the tickets placed back on the docket where a full range of defenses are available. In NOTS proceedings, as well as medical suspension proceedings, an attorney can aggressively defend your interests, and usually either get the matter thrown out or at least get the suspension period reduced.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

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