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Bill could base traffic citations on a person's income

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would base the fees associated with a traffic violations on the person's income. According to the state senator who introduced the bill, the state's large fines for minor traffic violations can cause many people to go into debt as well as lose their driver's license and their job if they can no longer get to work.

Under the bill, those who are unable to afford the fines attached to traffic violations would only be required to pay what they can afford. They would also be able to set up a payment plan with the court, which could potentially reduce the fees by as much as 80 percent. Parking tickets would not be included in this suggested system.

Those who can financially afford the traffic fine would only be required to pay up to 5 percent of their total monthly family income. If people cannot afford the traffic fine at all, they would not be required to pay anything until their financial circumstances change. Once their circumstances do change, however, they may have to pay.

Under California traffic violation laws, those who commit traffic violations face hefty fines. If they cannot afford them, they risk a license suspension, which can prevent them from being unable to get to work. If they are unable to maintain employment, they can quickly go into debt, creating a cycle that may be difficult to get out of. A traffic violations attorney might challenge the citation especially if there is evidence that police did not follow proper procedures when the traffic stop was made.

Source: ABC 10, "California bill would base traffic ticket fines on income", Frances Wang and Anthony Cave, May 17, 2017

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