California offering amnesty on traffic debt for poor - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

California offering amnesty on traffic debt for poor

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Superior Court and 57 other California Superior Courts offered amnesty on the unpaid amount due on traffic and non-traffic infraction fines imposed more than two years ago Thursday.

In June, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the one-time amnesty program into law. The program, which will run from Oct. 1, 2015, through March 31, 2017, was created as an incentive for people to resolve infraction-related delinquencies.

There are two groups of people who can participate in the program:

  -- Persons with unpaid tickets whose bail or fines were originally due to be paid on or before Jan. 1, 2013, and who are not current with payments, may be eligible to have their debt reduced by 50 or 80 percent, depending on income, and the hold on their driver's license rescinded;

  -- Persons who were delinquent, but are currently making payments or become current at the date of the request, are not eligible for a reduction, but may be eligible to have the "failure to appear or pay" notification removed from their driving record.

Parking tickets and most misdemeanors, including driving under the influence and reckless driving, are not eligible. Individuals who owe restitution to a victim or have an outstanding warrant are also not eligible to apply for the amnesty program.

A $50 Amnesty Program Fee will be charged for each eligible participant.

The fee will be added to the first payment or lump sum amount. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles will also charge a $55 Driver's License Reinstatement fee, if it applies.

Civil assessments will be deducted and will not have to be paid.

Before contacting the court, members of the public are urged to review the California Courts' web page on the Amnesty Program. The site is also available through the San Diego Superior Court's web site at sdcourt.ca.gov.

Individuals who think they may be eligible for the Amnesty Program should complete the Amnesty Program Participation Form (available on the court's web site) and bring it to the court location where the delinquent ticket is filed.

Individuals must appear in person to request amnesty unless they live out of the state or county.

For Amnesty Program information, citizens are urged to visit the Judicial Council's Amnesty page at http://www.courts.ca.gov/33230.htm.

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