CALIFORNIA—Motorists in California are no longer required to first pay their fine before contesting their traffic tickets. The decision was reached unanimously by the state court system’s governing body.
Previous laws stated that individuals were required to first pay their fines prior to contesting their tickets in court. The ACLU was one of the main supporters of this new law which takes effect immediately. The organization claimed that the old laws had a disproportionate impact on both minority and low-income groups. They addressed these issues in letters to various counties in California.
The new law also set a mandate stating that courts are now required to clearly notify individuals of their rights to not have to pay their fine before contesting their traffic tickets. Law makers hope that these new laws will lead to less drivers losing their licenses for simply not being able to pay a fine.
Under the previous law, individuals were required to first pay their fine before contesting a ticket they received. The ACLU’s primary argument stemmed from the fact that even innocent individuals would not be able to contest their tickets if they did not first pay their fines.
Some judges and court members worry about the possible ramifications of the new law. California has one of the busiest court systems and some individuals claim that the new law will only create unnecessary gridlock in the judicial system. They believe that the law will waste the time of public servants who would be asked to testify at trials. The new law goes into effect immediately, but courts will not be required to appropriately inform individuals until September 15.