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The Cavalry May Not Come After All

In an attempt to jump-start the legislation which seems to have stalled, lawmakers eviscerated much of Senate Bill 881, so long-term relief for drivers in Bakersfield and Fresno may be off the table, at least for now.

The good news for supporters of Senator Hertzberg’s drivers’ license suspension bill is that it appears to be headed for a vote in the State Senate. The bad news is that the proposal has been essentially gutted by amendments. Instead of changing the mandatory license suspension provision for delinquent traffic tickets, the new S.B. 881 extends the existing ticket amnesty for an additional nine months (from the end of March 2017 to the end of December 2017) and changes the ticket eligibility date from January 2013 to January 2015. Additionally, the state will not reimburse local counties for the expenses they incur in expanding the amnesty.

The measure’s seven co-sponsors all removed their names from S.B. 881.

Amnesty v Attorney

Instead of the first step towards a more rational system, S.B. 881 is now only a fresh Band-Aid. This move is somewhat surprising in light of the lawsuit that the ACLU just filed, but it appears that lawmakers are still hopeful that they can collect some of the billions of dollars that automatic license suspension generates.

For people who are essentially homeless, the ticket amnesty is a welcome relief. But for the rest of us, the usual 50 percent discount is little help, because half of $2,000 is $1,000 that most people do not have. Furthermore, the amnesty does not give drivers a chance to contest their fees or fight their tickets.

In most cases, an attorney can get a suspended drivers’ license reinstated in only a couple of days, and thanks to recent rules changes, get the tickets placed on the trial docket. There, an attorney can negotiate with prosecutors and leverage the available defenses to reduce the fines even more, and save you some real money.

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.