Arizona HB 2313: Sentencing; monetary obligations; fine mitigation

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.

You can read the full text of HB 2313 here. 

Key provisions
  • 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%.
Harmful provisions
  • The bill levies a new 9% surcharge that goes to Arizona victims’ rights and compensation funds.
Edwin Farnsworth, Paul Boyer
HB 2313