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Indiana’s Traffic Amnesty Program Could Cut Your Traffic Fines & Fees in Half

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently approved and signed the House Enrolled Act 1141, which created a statewide traffic amnesty program. People who owe a significant amount in driving fines and reinstatement fees can use this new program to petition the court for a cost reduction of up to 150%. The program only applies to traffic violations and related incidents that occurred before January 1st, 2019, and the petition must be filed in 2020.

In other words, you have only one year to take advantage of the traffic amnesty program. Make certain you handle it correctly! If you owe a lot in driving fines and reinstatement fees, let Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP and our attorneys help you and be your legal guides. Our traffic infraction lawyers are familiar with the amnesty program and how to petition courts for approval.

Make our experience your own. Call (317) 434-1490 or contact us online.

Traffic Amnesty Program FAQ

[Source: Ind. Code, Title 9, Article 33, Chapter 4 (Traffic Amnesty Program (§§ 9-33-4-1 — 9-33-4-6)]

What is the new traffic amnesty program?
A new legislative program that allows drivers with suspended licenses who owe unpaid fines accrued due to traffic offenses to reduce those fines by 150%. Suspended drivers can petition the court for a 150% reduction in court fines and a 150% reduction in the reinstatement fee as well.

When can you apply?
Applications will be accepted from January 1st, 2020 until December 31st, 2020.

What costs can be reduced?

  • Unpaid judgment for traffic violations (see Title 9 for list of applicable violations), if the judgment was committed prior to January 1, 2019.
  • Driving privileges reinstatement fee, which a person with a suspended license must pay to reinstate their driver’s license, if it was suspended prior to January 1, 2019. (See, IC 9-25-6-15, for description of that fee.)
  • Any court cost, administrative fee, late fees or any other fee associated with the above stated costs.

Who is ineligible?

  • Persons with a child support arrearage, unless the person has been making the person’s required child support payments for at least six (6) months preceding the date the person files the petition for traffic amnesty.
  • Persons with outstanding warrants.
  • Persons ordered to pay restitution to person who is a victim of a crime.

Further Petition Details

If you are eligible, you may file for the reduction in fees/costs by filing a petition in the superior court in the county in which the violation occurred. The petition must be filed the petition under the court cause number of the infraction. If you wish to receive traffic amnesty for infractions committed in different counties, you must file a separate petition in each county in which a violation was committed. There is NO filing fee to file this kind of petition. Petition must be served upon the prosecuting attorney, in accordance of Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure.

The petition can only be filed AFTER December 31, 2019 and BEFORE January 1, 2021.

Your petition must include:

  • Full name and all other legal names or aliases by which you are or have been known.
  • Date of birth.
  • Social Security number.
  • Driver’s license number.
  • Date of violations.
  • Case number or court cause number of the relevant violations.
  • An affirmation that you:
    • Do not owe a child support arrearage or, if you owe a child support arrearage, you have been making the required child support payments for at least the preceding six (6) months;
    • Do not have an outstanding arrest warrant; and
    • Were as not sentenced to pay restitution to the victim of a crime or, if you were sentenced to pay restitution, are current with your required payments.

You may include in a petition filed under this section any other information that you believe may assist the court. Our attorneys can help you determine if any other information would be beneficial for your petition.

The prosecutor may return with an objection, following these rules:

  • Prosecutor may reply no later than 30 days after service.
  • If the prosecutor does not reply, any objection has been waived.
    • If no objection, amnesty can be granted without a hearing.
  • If prosecutor objects, they must file the reasons for the objection with the court and serve the petitioner with the objections.
    • The Court will set the matter for hearing no earlier than 60 days after service of the petition on the prosecuting attorney.

Once again, our attorneys are here to help you with every step along the way. If the prosecutor objects, we can help you understand why and prepare an appropriate response.

Court Costs

[Source: Ind. Code § 33-37-2-3]

Summation: A new law will allow those unable to pay court costs associated with a criminal conviction the option to have fees reduced in exchange for performing community service. The state’s minimum wage would be used to calculate the amount of credit given.

How does it work?

The court may reduce some or all the costs owed by a person who:

  • Has performed court ordered community service as a part of their sentence/probation; or
  • Regularly performed uncompensated volunteer work approved by the court/municipal corporation that benefits the community, even if the volunteer work is NOT ordered by the court.

The maximum reduction under this section is determined by:

  • Calculating the number of hours of community service work satisfactorily completed, making sure it exceeds the number of court ordered hours; or, if approved, the number of hours of court approved volunteer work regularly performed.
    • Regularly performed work means you worked for at least 20 hours in a 60-day period, with at least 2 hours worked per week.
  • Multiplying the number determined in the first step by the Indiana minimum wage established (as of 09/05/2019 and currently $7.25).
  • Subtract the total established in step two from the costs owed.

Note: Your costs may not be reduced below $0.00.

Need help making sense and use of the new traffic amnesty program? Call (317) 434-1490 today!

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