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County offers amnesty program for traffic offenses
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Anyone facing the start of the new year with unpaid traffic citations dogging them has a chance to wipe the slate clean with the Amnesty Program.

The Stanislaus County Superior Court is offering a one-time opportunity for people to take advantage of a 50 percent reduction on certain unpaid traffic citations and the accompanying fees incurred in Stanislaus County.

The Amnesty Program is set to run statewide from Sunday to June 30. The focus of the Amnesty Program is to assist individuals who have found themselves in violation of a court ordered obligation because they can’t afford to pay the required fine for an infraction.

The program is similar to the Tax Amnesty Program through the Franchise Tax Board. Earlier this year, FTB collected $350 million within a three month period by offering taxpayers to amend past state income tax returns in order to avoid penalties and the possibility of criminal prosecution.

Roughly 70,000 adult and juvenile traffic infraction violations are expected to qualify throughout Stanislaus County, with 46,738 failure to appear cases totaling approximately $41,230,694 and 13,503 failure to pay cases totaling approximately $9,845,859, according to the county court system.

“This is a limited-time only chance for individuals to resolve past debt at a reduced cost,” said Michael Tozzi, chief executive officer of Stanislaus County Superior Court. “Plus, there’s the opening to regain a driver’s license. It’s clearly a win-win for all parties.”

To take advantage of this opportunity, the failure to appear or failure to pay resulting from the citation must have occurred before Jan. 1, 2009, with no subsequent payments made toward the unresolved balance past that date. Parking tickets, driving under the influence and reckless driving cases are ineligible, regardless of if they meet the other criteria. Furthermore, no outstanding warrants or victim restitution orders within the county where the traffic citation was issued may currently be in place.

Further detail about the Amnesty Program can be found at the Stanislaus Superior Court website: Payment for eligible tickets will be accepted at the Traffic Division, located at 2260 Floyd Ave., in Modesto, online at the court website, or via mail to Stanislaus County Superior Court Amnesty, P.O. Box 1730, Modesto, CA 95353. Additionally, the Juvenile Division will also be accepting payment for eligible juvenile cases at 2215 Blue Gum Ave., in Modesto. Payment must be made in full and only cash, cashier’s check, money order, Visa or MasterCard will be accepted. No personal checks will be accepted.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.