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Personal Narrative: Angela Dabney

Angela Dabney, 40, of Montgomery, is terrified of law enforcement. A single mother of three children, she has three outstanding Failure to Appear warrants for traffic tickets she cannot afford to pay. She says she has never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, but she does not have the money to pay her tickets or even afford to keep up with the payment plan she was assigned. Her driver’s license is suspended, and she cannot afford to get it back. Instead, she lives in fear that a chance encounter with law enforcement could upset the impossibly delicate balance of her life. Dabney desperately wants a job. For a moment, she found one, packing goods for a moving company. But she was fired after a background check revealed her unpaid tickets and suspended license.

The only way Dabney can clear her record is to appear in court and hope that the judge understands her circumstances and either forgives her debt or works with her to create a payment plan she can afford. But if she turned herself in, she risks being locked up until a court date is set. “I can’t afford to do that. I’m a single parent and I have to be at home with my kids,” she said. Instead, she hides. “[I] can’t get a job because of these tickets. I have to pay my bills or I’d be out on the street, so I take paying my bills over tickets. I’m sorry, it might not sound right, but it’s the truth.”

Source: Under Pressure

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