I’m a traffic lawyer – new system for paying fines is a ‘circus’ but there’s a reason why you should settle immediately

A NEW bill would require traffic offenders to wait four months for a hearing, but only after the citation has been paid.

After the passage of bill AB116 and the decriminalization of 400 different types of traffic violations, Las Vegas courtrooms were filled with residents fighting traffic tickets.

A new Las Vegas bill has changed the process for locals to report traffic violations and made it harder to take action against them

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A new Las Vegas bill has changed the process for locals to report traffic violations and made it harder to take action against themPhoto credit: Getty
Joseph Maridon says the new process has some advantages and disadvantages

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Joseph Maridon says the new process has some advantages and disadvantagesPhoto credit: The Maridon Law Firm

Defense attorney Scott Holper has been in court for two years challenging his clients’ traffic tickets and says the new law has turned a once-simple process into a complicated one.

Previously, his clients had the opportunity to present evidence to dispute a traffic violation and avoid going to court.

Now that the new laws are in place, the only way to present evidence is through a hearing.

However, if a driver wants to provide evidence, the fine must be paid in full before making an appointment – and that means a waiting period of four months.

Thousands of drivers would face $81 million in fines for speeding
The crackdown law is now in effect - drivers face a $200 fine if caught driving in the wrong lane

With such a long wait, the hope is that violators will choose to settle and pay the fine rather than opt for a fight.

If the fine is not paid due to financial restraint or sheer defiance, the courts can no longer issue a warrant or impose an arrest.

“What’s the motivation to even go to court to challenge a red light or stop sign violation if you’re already paying?” Holper told the Review Journal.

“And if you can’t come up with the money, why bother paying the fine without a warrant?

“It’s a big circus right now.”

Court Administrator Jessica Gurley is fully aware of the long wait for locals to challenge their traffic tickets and said a shorter wait is on the horizon.

“While this date is consistent with other civil litigation, the court is working to provide the resources to add additional calendars to shorten this time frame,” Gurley said.

Las Vegas lawyer Joseph Maridon believes that the new procedure has positive aspects, but also disadvantages.

“I don’t mind that they don’t put people in jail for simple traffic violations,” Maridon said.

“In terms of the method and the procedures and the way the statutes are written in terms of the process, it was not well thought out and is very poorly executed.”

TaraSubramaniam

TaraSubramaniam is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: tarasubramaniam@dailynationtoday.com.

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