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Traffic Amnesty Training
Transcript of Traffic Amnesty Training
How does this
Got a ticket 3 weeks ago for running a stop sign
Had a valid license at the time
Ticket says to appear in court in 2 weeks
Working full time, making around $2500 per month
Got a ticket 3 years ago for running a stop sign
Had a valid license at the time
Never made it in to court for hearing or payment
Hasn't been able to find work due to suspended driver's license
It's a misdemeanor to "wilfully" fail to appear in court or fail to pay a traffic fine as assessed (FTA/FTP)
Courts can add UP TO $300 "civil assessment" for FTA/FTP.
-No way to vacate assessment unless you were in hospital, jail, military. Sometimes, "other."
CVC 40509.5: Courts can notify DMV when someone has FTA/FTP and ask DMV to suspend license
DMV can suspend license of someone for "willful" failure to appear in court
The DMV can suspend the license until the court tells them that the FTA/FTP has been cured. This usually means payment in full of thousands of dollars.
Traffic Amnesty Program
The program is temporary. It started Oct. 1, 2015 and ends March 1, 2017.
How a person can benefit from the program depends on a couple different things:
When their tickets were originally supposed to be paid
Their monthly income
Whether they have tickets in multiple counties
Whether they ever made payments on their tickets before
Whether the person has a warrant or owes victim restitution
The program offers a REDUCTION in the fees for tickets that were originally due before Jan. 1, 2013.
The reduction is 80% for people who receive public benefits, or whose income is below 125% of the Federal Poverty Level.
After the debt is reduced, they can get on a payment plan for the remaining amount. Payments should be based on their income.
In order to get the fees reduced and the license hold lifted, the person would have to pay a $50 participation fee. There is currently no fee waiver.
For tickets that were due AFTER Jan. 1, 2013, there is no debt reduction option.
Before amnesty, a person would have to pay the full amount they owed before getting their license back.
Under amnesty, all they have to do is make a SINGLE payment on a payment plan and they can get their license hold lifted.
The collections agency, AllianceOne, often tells people they can't negotiate down their payments very low. This isn't true! They should be able to get a payment as low as $25/month.
If someone you work with is being pressured into an unaffordable payment plan by Alliance One, have them call EBCLC and leave us a message.
Each traffic ticket that has a "Failure to Appear" (FTA) or a "Failure to Pay" (FTP) will create a hold with the DMV.
That means if someone had 3 FTAs, they would have to clear EACH ONE before getting their license reinstated.
Just because someone clears their ticket holds, does NOT mean they have their license back!! They still have to go to the DMV, fill out some forms, and pay a $55 "reinstatement" fee.
This also means they have to clear their holds in EVERY COUNTY where they have FTA/FTP.
This may mean applying for Amnesty in multiple counties--and possibly paying multiple $50 fees and several monthly payments.
How to Apply (or help someone apply!)
How many tickets?
Due date of tickets? (pre-2013, 0r post-2013?)
If pre-2013, does person have warrant or owe victim restitution?
You can look up someone's tickets on the Alameda County court website.
Fill out and submit application.
Wait for response from court.
NOTE: Alameda County is taking over 6 months to get back to applicants.
If the person has ANY tickets from 2012 or before, they should select these boxes (if all of the statements are true!)
If the person has ONLY tickets from 2013 or after, they should wait to hear from the court before calling AllianceOne to start a payment plan. Once they make the first payment, their hold can be lifted.
NOTE: $25/month is the lowest monthly payment plan we have been successful in negotiating so far.
If eligible for reduction, pay the $50 participation fee.
Hold on license should be lifted immediately for all 2012-and-before tickets.
Once holds are lifted, go to DMV to ask for license reinstatement!
NOTE: This costs $55 and there is no fee waiver.
Repeat process for any county where the person has a Failure to Appear or Failure to Pay.
NOTE: Each county has a slightly different procedure for processing amnesty.
SB 881: END LICENSE SUSPENSION AS A COURT-ORDERED DEBT COLLECTION TOOL!
Person can also ask for reduction in fines if they are experiencing hardship!
Alameda County is only processing applications it received as of October 15, 2015. They are about 6 months delayed.
Other Possible Remedies to Screen For:
How long has license been suspended?
Over 5 years?
VC Sec 12808(c) says that DMV can purge FTA/FTP actions that are over 5 years old.
If all their FTA/FTPs are over 5 years old, they may be able to get license reinstated.
However it would not affect underlying debt.
Has the person ever experienced homelessness, or are they at risk of homelessness?
They may be a good candidate for Homeless and Caring Court.
We can submit an application on their behalf, documenting positive progress they've made in their life.
If they are accepted and complete all program requirements, they can have all their fines and fees dismissed.