As part of the state's new amnesty program, nearly thousands of delinquent traffic tickets in San Diego County may be eligible for a half-off discount beginning January 1.
The legislature came up with the program in an effort to increase the state's revenue amid the current economic crises, said Philip Carrizosa, spokesman for the state Administrative Office of the Courts.
In addition, the state hopes to reduce the backlog of cases in local courts and provide help to those who can't renew their driver's licenses because of unpaid fines.
"Customers’ citations are eligible for a 50 percent reduction of the balance of all moneys owed, including civil assessments, bail/fine and fee amounts, on any infraction case that has had no activity since January 1, 2009," according to Holly Bullen with San Diego Superior Court.
The program includes all traffic and non-traffic violations where a misdemeanor under California Vehicle Code 40508 (a) or (b) or Penal Code 853.7
"We're hopeful people with unpaid tickets will take this opportunity to clear their tickets off the record and to provide some badly needed revenue to the state in these tough economic times," said Carrizosa.
To be eligible, the due date for payment of the fine, or failure to appear, must be before January 1, 2009 and you cannot owe restitution on any case within the county, or have any outstanding misdemeanors or felony warrants.
The half-off applies to the original base fine plus any additional penalties and court fees. Parking tickets, however, are not covered by the program.
The court will not accept payment plans, Bullen said. The entire amount must be paid in full.
The court will post the entire process for payment up on their website as the date grows near, Bullen said.
State officials do not know how much they might collect but a similar program in 2004 generated $1.3 billion, according to KNX Radio.
The program ends June 30, 2012.