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Out-Of-Control Add-Ons Back In The Headlines

A Bakersfield television station recently tried to shed a little more light on the penalty assessments predicament.

Traffic ticket add-ons are under fire again, this time because the state provides no breakdown as to where the money goes. Most people assume that the penalty assessments go to traffic-related items, but the money goes to a long list of agencies that have little or nothing to do with roadway safety, like prisons, crime victim restitution, and even fish and game preservation. Bigger & Harman attorney Paul Harman (who looks good on TV) decried these “hidden fees” and challenged the state to be more transparent.

State Sen. Robert Hertzberg, who championed the ticket amnesty and is still focused on the issue, opined that, over the years, it was too easy for the Legislature to “add on $10 for this or $5 for this” as opposed to raising taxes.

Reducing Penalty Assessments

This report pointed out that, out of the $390 in penalty assessments for a speeding ticket, the county only keeps $70. The rest of the money is either earmarked for specific items, like night court and attorney salaries, or sent directly to the General Fund where, at least in theory, it is parceled out to specific programs.

As a result, oftentimes you can negotiate for a better deal. After all, much of the money is just going back to Sacramento. If the driver has a valid defense, like a mistake of fact or failure to follow the 85th percentile rule, the penalty assessments can go down even further.

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 attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.