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California Offers Drivers Limited Amnesty For Unpaid Tickets

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - California drivers are being offered a discount on unpaid traffic tickets in a program designed to help both drivers and the cash-strapped judicial system

More than 6 million cases statewide may qualify for this limited-time amnesty program from the State of California, which clears drivers' moving violations at a reduced cost.

"We hope people will take advantage of this money-saving offer," summed up Philip Carrizosa with the Judicial Council of California.

The amnesty programs goes into effect January 1, 2012 and is open through June 2012. California Superior Courts in all 58 counties are offering 50% off unpaid moving violation tickets issued before 2009.

KCBS' Margie Shafer Reports:

"After January 1 you'll be eligible to pay only 50% of what is due and that's 50% of the total amount," Carrizosa explained.

Misdemeanor and felony warrants do not qualify for the program.

"You cannot have any outstanding warrants and parking tickets are not included," he outlined. "These are old tickets that people have neglected to pay. And we're giving them an opportunity to get it off their books, stop worrying about it. And, to provide some revenue for the courts and the counties who are in desperate need of money in these very tough economic times."

California's courts took a huge hit when the state legislature cut $350 million from its latest budget, even forcing the closure of some offices and services. The amnesty program is designed to raise funds for the financially-struggling system.

"Our rough estimate is we ought to be able to generate a total of $46 million a year."

Anyone who wants to take advantage of the program is directed to go to contact the court in the county where the violation occurred.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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