Poverty and License Suspensions
According to a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, driver’s license suspensions are pushing the poor deeper into poverty. Traffic court fines combined with the escalating fees and penalties have led to driver’s license suspensions for 4.2 million Californians. One in six drivers faces a suspension, pushing many low-income people deeper into poverty, according to a report released by the coalition of legal aid groups.
The report from the Los Angeles Times states that the threat of losing one’s license over traffic tickets and other infractions has long been viewed as an essential tool for compelling violators to pay the fines. As these citation revenues have mounted, and court budgets have been cut, the state has come to rely heavily on them to fund a variety of programs.
Recent figures released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office show that uncollected court-ordered debt has grown to more than $10 billion. A 2014 bill to guarantee the right to a hearing for those who have missed an initial court appearance but are unable to pay in full stalled because it would have overwhelmed a strapped court system that has suffered $1 billion in cuts in recent years. A broader bill failed the previous year.
Failure to Pay Fine or Comply with Court Order
If you do not pay your fine or comply with an order of the court (example: failure to obey an order to perform community service) before the date you are given, you may face a misdemeanor charge.
A person who willfully fails to comply with a condition of a court order, such as paying the court costs or fine associated with a ticket, is guilty of a misdemeanor, regardless of any subsequent compliance with the order.
There exist programs to assist in paying off your citation in installments, however, an attorney can speak directly with a prosecutor to work out a deal to mitigate the impact to your license and/or insurance, and sometimes even obtain a dismissal of the charge.
Consult an Attorney
Do not leave your ticket unresolved. To avoid additional fees and legal action, which may include a warrant for your arrest, you should take action before your fine or court order is past due. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist with this. An attorney can obtain an extension to pay your fine or comply with a court order to stop the suspension of your license. If you have an unresolved citation, you could face a license suspension.
It is important to contact an attorney who can assist in the resolution of your case as well as preserving your license and keeping you from incurring points that will impact both your driving privilege and your insurance. The Rodriguez Law Group can assist in resolving traffic matters and any criminal matter that may lead to a license suspension if unresolved. Contact our firm today to assist with your case.