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Public Safety

California Traffic Ticket Amnesty Program Ends Monday

A San Diego lawyer says Kearny Mesa Traffic Court is giving people too poor to pay off their tickets a tough time.
A San Diego lawyer says Kearny Mesa Traffic Court is giving people too poor to pay off their tickets a tough time.

Monday is the last day to apply for a program that allows one-time amnesty for some unpaid pre-2013 traffic tickets and non-traffic infractions.

In June 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the one-time amnesty program, which was created as an incentive for people to resolve infraction-related delinquencies. It was initially set to end Friday, but was pushed back to the next court day because Cesar Chavez Day is a judicial holiday.

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"This is an important law that was designed to allow those who have been unable to pay their fines to get right with the law and clear their record," said Michael Roddy, Executive Officer of the San Diego Superior Court. "We want to ensure, one more time, that people who are eligible for this program know it will be ending soon so they don't miss out."

There are two groups of people who can participate in the amnesty 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 both their debts reduced by 50 or 80 percent — depending on income — and the hold on their driver's license released.

–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.

RELATED: Lawyer Alleges San Diego Traffic Court Collection Agency Shakes Down Poor

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.

A $50 Amnesty Program Fee will be charged for each eligible participant. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles will charge a $55 Driver's License Reinstatement fee, if it applies.

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

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People are encouraged to review the California Courts' web page on the Amnesty Program before contacting the court.

Individuals who think they might be eligible should complete the Amnesty Program Participation Form 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.