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Ticket Catch-22, What Do You Do?

Have you ever gotten caught up in the irony of a California traffic ticket you can’t afford? But you know if you don’t pay it, you’ll get your driver’s license (DL) suspended and not be able to drive to work to make money. Getting a ticket is no fun, nobody likes getting pulled over or receiving a traffic citation in the mail. However, the simple fact is most drivers will experience getting a ticket at some point in their lives. The worst part about it is the ticket catch-22 when you have no money, but you need a DL to get to work and make the required cash to pay it.

The Ticket Trap

After a long day at work, everyone needs a break. This is especially true for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Taking a break helps protect other drivers and your own life by reducing the time you spend driving while not in peak condition. Unfortunately, there are limited parking areas around rest areas; there are issues with shipping yard waiting times; and a whole host of other problems that can cause driving mistakes. These issues are not the driver’s fault; these are merely facts of life. However, it is vital that you manage these problems correctly or you could end up facing a traffic citation and the loss of your primary source of income.

The Financial Cost of a Ticket

After years of infrastructure cuts, cities, counties, and states rely more and more on the revenue that comes from traffic tickets. This need for municipal revenue has led to more fines, and surcharges, fees, and assessments added to those fines to pay for special projects, court construction and others. Therefore, the assessed penalties are much higher.

There are also several new digital systems like truck weighing systems built right into the lanes as you approach the weigh station. Speed and red-light cameras have given local governments the ability to hand out tickets much easier.

Failure to appear and failure to pay (FTA/FTP) can cause additional late fees that quickly add up to thousands of dollars. These issues often equal a perfect storm that does not allow them to recover from the fines and late fees. Many do not realize it would be less expensive in many cases to get their fine reduced and late fees eliminated by hiring a traffic ticket attorney.

Many drivers believe they can go into court unrepresented and plead with the judge to consider their income. They walk out of court smiling because the judge cut their fine in half, so they only pay $2000 instead of $4000, when a lawyer may have gotten the case dismissed entirely. Whatever your ticket, you should discuss it with a traffic attorney.

Always Consult with a Local Traffic Ticket Attorney

A conviction or paid red-light ticket could cost a driver roughly $2000 without representation or when they merely pay the fine and not attend Traffic Violators School (TVS). The fine is close to $500, and the increase in their insurance premium could cost an average driver $500 more per year, and $1500 over the three-year period the ticket will stay on their motor vehicle driving record (MVR).

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, in Bakersfield for advice about your ticket. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755. An experienced traffic law professional may not advise drivers to challenge every ticket, some are not easily winnable, yet you must discuss every ticket with a lawyer. You will only know by asking.

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