Robert Taylor insists he’s a good guy, but says the state of Virginia has treated him like a bad one ever since he got buried under a pile of unpaid traffic tickets, fees and fines.
The 28-year-old Richmond man spends weekends in jail, can't hold a job and does not know how he will ever pay off the nearly $5,000 he owes the state.
“I’m not a criminal in any sense of the word,” Robert Taylor told FoxNews.com.
Without the availability of a payment plan, Taylor had his license suspended, leaving him unable to work. And being unable to work left him unable to make a dent in what he owes the state, he said.
Now, Taylor is part of a class action suit which alleges that drivers have been treated unfairly under the state’s License-for-Payment system. Virginia is one of nine states that automatically suspends a license if they have not received fines of fee payments within 30 days. The state does so without any inquiry into non-payment or consideration for a driver’s financial circumstance.
According to the Legal Aid Justice Center, which filed the suit against Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, hundreds of thousands of low-income residents are trapped in a cycle of debt and poverty. Nearly one in six drivers in Virginia has a suspended license for failure to pay court costs and fines.