Legally Élan: Hear ye, hear ye…..the last days of Traffic Amnesty in California


by: OaklandLawyer

Did you know . . .?

On June 24, 2015, Gov, Jerry Brown, Governor of the Great State of California, signed into effect a one-time amnesty program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets.

The program started October 1, 2015 and was slated to end on March 31, 2017.  However, because March 31, 2017 is an official Court Holiday (All Hail César, as in Chavez, who the holiday honors), the program has been extended to the next Court day, Monday April 3, 2017.

The amnesty program was designed for people who have unpaid parking tickets that were due on or before January 1, 2013 and who did not make a payment after September 30, 2015. You may be able to have your ticket reduced, depending on income, and your license reinstated.  The program also allows that if you made a payment after September 30, 2015, and are in good standing with a payment plan, you too can have your license reinstated, but not reduction in the fine.

The program is available to people with a driver’s license, including those persons who are undocumented and received their license under AB60.  People who owe victim restitution are not eligible, as are people who have certain outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants.  The program includes failure to appear violations where the payment was due on or before January 1, 2013.

To be eligible for an 80% reduction, you will need to certify that you make 125% or less of the federal poverty level, which is $14,712 for an individual, or $30,312 for a family of four, or that you receive public assistance.  Everyone else, you are eligible for a 50% discount.

How do you participate: Run, don’t walk, to any and every Court where you have unpaid tickets and complete their amnesty program application.  Please note, they did authorize the Courts, counties, and third party collections vendors to collect an amnesty program fee of $50 payable to the superior court or county. And as always The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will also charge the usual $55 driver’s license reinstatement fee.

If you don’t have all the money at once, there is a payment plan option available based on your ability to pay.  But unlike years past, you being current with your payments mean you can have your license reinstated before you pay it off.

Now you know. . . do something.

About the author:  Known on twitter as Oaklandlawyer, Élan Consuella Lambert, Esquire received her Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law and her B.A. from UC Berkeley.

Ms. Lambert was first appointed as an Administrative Law Judge in September 2010 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, assigned to the Division of Workers’ Compensation in Marina del Rey. Governor Jerry Brown later appointed Ms. Lambert to the Department of Social Services, Affordable Care Act Bureau and to the Office of Administrative Hearings, where she is currently.

Before her appointment, Ms. Lambert was a California State Bar, Certified Legal Specialist. A firm believer in volunteer work, she does extensive volunteer work with organizations that include the Alameda County Bar Association’s Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC), San Francisco Superior Court, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  In her free time she enjoys saying, “For the record, . . .” even when there is no one making a record.



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