Q. I have traffic tickets that have been turned into “Collections” in Sacramento County. I cannot get my driver’s license back until the tickets are paid in full. There are attorneys out there that say they can get it back for you. Well, they say there is a 99% chance. I was wondering if I could act as my own attorney and if so, what papers should I file or where would I start?
A. Unfortunately, you cannot go back to court at this point. The only option to get your license back is to pay the traffic fines in full. DO NOT hire anyone who says they can get your license back for you; it is not possible.
In Sacramento County, there are two levels of “Collections.” The first level is with the Department of Revenue Recovery. If you promise to make payments on your traffic fines, but you miss a payment, you cannot go back to court to change the amount you are paying. The court does not have jurisdiction. You can, however contact Revenue Recovery; they have the ability to change your payment structure. As long as you pay something the collection remains active, and you can avoid moving to the second level of Collections, which is with GC Services.
There is no negotiation at this point at all. If you do not pay GC Services, they will send the case back to court for a “Failure to Pay Hearing.” If you receive a Failure to Pay Hearing Notice you have 15 days to go to the Carol Miller Justice Center for a hearing. If you miss the deadline you will have a $300 civil assessment fee added to your original fine, and your license will be suspended. Starting a payment plan will NOT get your license reinstated. The only option is to pay off the fine in full.
You can look up your traffic ticket on the Sacramento County Superior Court’s Public Case Access System to check the status of your case. Go to https://services.saccourt.ca.gov/PublicCaseAccess/Traffic/Search, and search by case number, citation number, or drivers’ license and date of birth. If you are in Collections, it will say so at the very top of the “Information About this Case” section, “This case is in collections with [either Revenue Recovery GC or Services]. There is no option for you to return to court and discuss this case.”
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