V C Section 42008.7 Infractions: One-time Amnesty Program

Infractions: One-time Amnesty Program

42008.7.  (a) The State of California continues to face a fiscal and economic crisis affecting the State Budget and the overall state economy. In light of this crisis, a one-time infraction amnesty program would do the following:

(1) Provide relief to individuals who have found themselves in violation of a court-ordered obligation because they are financially unable to pay traffic bail or fines.

(2) Provide increased revenue at a time when revenue is scarce by encouraging payment of old fines that have remained unpaid.

(3) Allow courts and counties to resolve older delinquent cases and focus limited resources on collecting on more recent cases.

(b) A one-time amnesty program for fines and bail meeting the eligibility requirements set forth in subdivision (e) shall be established in each county. Unless agreed otherwise by the court and the county in writing, the government entities that are responsible for the collection of delinquent court-ordered debt shall be responsible for implementation of the amnesty program as to that debt, maintaining the same division of responsibility in place with respect to the collection of court-ordered debt under subdivision (b) of Section 1463.010 of the Penal Code.

(c) As used in this section, the term “fine” or “bail” refers to the total amounts due in connection with a specific violation, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Base fine or bail, as established by court order, by statute, or by the court’s bail schedule.

(2) Penalty assessments imposed pursuant to Section 1464 of the Penal Code and Sections 76000, 70372, 76104.6, 76104.7, and 76000.5 of the Government Code.

(3) Civil assessment imposed pursuant to Section 1214.1 of the Penal Code.

(4) State surcharge imposed pursuant to Section 1465.7 of the Penal Code.

(5) Court security fee imposed pursuant to Section 1465.8 of the Penal Code.

(d) In addition to and at the same time as the mandatory one-time amnesty program is established pursuant to subdivision (b), the court and the county may jointly agree to extend that amnesty program to fines and bail imposed for a misdemeanor violation of this code and a violation of Section 853.7 of the Penal Code added to the misdemeanor case otherwise subject to the amnesty. The amnesty program authorized pursuant to this subdivision shall not apply to parking violations and violations of Section 23103, 23104, 23105, 23152, or 23153 of this code.

(e) Violations are only eligible for amnesty if paragraph (1), (2), or (3) applies and the requirements of paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) are met:

(1) The violation is an infraction violation filed with the court.

(2) It is a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 40508, or a violation of Section 853.7 of the Penal Code added to the case subject to paragraph (1).

(3) The violation is a misdemeanor violation filed with the court to which subdivision (d) applies.

(4) The due date for payment of the fine or bail was on or before January 1, 2009.

(5) The defendant does not owe victim restitution on any case within the county.

(6) There are no outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants for the defendant within the county, except for misdemeanor warrants for misdemeanor violations authorized by the court and the county pursuant to subdivision (d).

(f) Each amnesty program shall accept, in full satisfaction of any eligible fine or bail, 50 percent of the fine or bail amount, as defined in subdivision (c) of this section. Payment of a fine or bail under an amnesty program implemented pursuant to this section shall be accepted beginning January 1, 2012, and ending June 30, 2012. The Judicial Council shall adopt guidelines for the amnesty program no later than November 1, 2011, and each program shall be conducted in accordance with Judicial Council guidelines.

(g) No criminal action shall be brought against a person for a delinquent fine or bail paid under the amnesty program.

(h) The total amount of funds collected under the amnesty program shall as soon as practical after receipt thereof be deposited in the county treasury or the account established under Section 77009 of the Government Code. Any unreimbursed costs of operating the amnesty program, excluding capital expenditures, may be deducted from the revenues collected under the amnesty program by the court or the county that incurred the expense of operating the program. Notwithstanding Section 1203.1d of the Penal Code, the remaining revenues collected under the amnesty program shall be distributed on a pro rata basis in the same manner as a partial payment distributed pursuant to Section 1462.5 of the Penal Code.

(i) Each court or county implementing an amnesty program shall file, not later than September 30, 2012, a written report with the Judicial Council, on a form approved by the Judicial Council. The report shall include information about the number of cases resolved, the amount of money collected, and the operating costs of the amnesty program. Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, on or before December 31, 2012, the Judicial Council shall submit a report to the Legislature summarizing the information provided by each court or county.

Added Sec. 38, Ch. 720, Stats. 2010. Effective October 19, 2010.
Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 662, Stats. 2011. Effective January 1, 2012.