This bill makes several changes to the way Arizona courts impose and enforce fines and fees. In particular, it increases judges’ power to reduce fines and fees if a defendant is unable to pay and slightly reduces certain state surcharges. However, the bill also creates a new category of surcharge in excess of other fee reductions, which cancels out some of the relief that this bill might provide for Arizonians.
- Judges may reduce non-mandatory fines if the defendant can demonstrate that the payment would cause undue hardship. If the fine is mandatory, judges may reduce certain surcharges instead.
- Courts may mitigate all or part of $20 state surcharge on traffic violations.
- A 47% state surcharge on criminal offenses and civil traffic offenses is reduced to 42%.
- The bill levies a new 9% surcharge that goes to Arizona victims’ rights and compensation funds.