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On 13 September, Senate Bill (SB) 485 was approved and forwarded to the Governor for signature, which would make it law. SB 485 will no longer allow driver’s license suspension as punishment for crimes not connected to their vehicle.

Courts will no longer be able to order the suspension of a person’s driver’s license as punishment for crimes such as vandalism, soliciting prostitution, or drug or weapons possession. 

Driver’s License Suspension for FTP 

In May of 2017, AB 185 was passed requiring courts to halt driver’s license suspension due to a driver’s failure to pay (FTP). It was thought that a person’s income status should have no bearing on punishment. Furthermore, suspending a driver’s license in many cases begins a downward spiral and the inability of some to recover. 

Their license is suspended, so they can’t drive to work, then they lose their job, some eventually lose their homes and become destitute and homeless all because they couldn’t afford to pay their state and county imposed traffic fines.  

SB 485 appears to take the measure a step further to disallow the driver’s license suspension for other than vehicle-related convictions. SB 485 will make courts get more creative with punishments that fit the crime instead of taking a person’s license and requiring them to go through the process of getting a restricted driver’s license to drive back and forth to work, school, and medical appointments.

Those who are unable to get a restricted license would need to enlist friends and family to drive them or have the financial means to use Uber or Lyft and other public transportation services, which might not go everywhere they need to get services.   

Driver’s License Suspension for Non-Support

SB 485 does not change the requirement for a driver’s license suspension for non-support. Federal statute 42 USC 666(a)(16) requires states to have a program to suspend the driver’s license of delinquent child support offenders. However, the state does have some latitude in how they administer the program, so some changes could occur if warranted by state agencies. 

When this happens to you, stop driving and contact a traffic ticket attorney for assistance. Driving with a suspended license could be costly if caught and make it more difficult to get re-instated.

Kings County Traffic Ticket Attorneys & DMV Hearing Advocates

If your license is already suspended, getting it reinstated is a complicated process, and getting a restricted license can be even more involved with all the legal requirements for a doctor, employer, or school officials’ statements. Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, can assist with these requirements. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We believe it is in your best interest to challenge nearly every traffic ticket. Just one conviction could lead to a significant rise in the cost of auto insurance. In many cases, it will double or triple. When you accumulate four Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points within a year, six within two, or eight within three years, you will have to go to a DMV NOTS Hearing to prevent suspension. We can help. 

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The California Globe articleDriving Licenses Can No Longer Be Suspended For Non-Vehicle Related Crimes Under Bill September 13, 2019

The CSG Justice Center articleOn Child Support/Drivers’ License Renewal June 2013

District 18 Press ReleaseBill to Stop Automatic Suspension of Driver’s Licenses Passes Senate May 31, 2017

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