This 2018 bill – which did not pass – marks the third consecutive year that Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) introduced legislation to end driver’s license suspension for nonpayment of fines and fees in Florida. This bill would also have required courts to provide reasonable payment alternatives for poor defendants, including payment plans and performing community service to pay fines.
- “A person’s driver license may not be suspended solely for a failure to pay fees, service charges, fines, or penalties,” so long as the defendant demonstrates to the court that they are unable to pay
- Any defendant who wants a public defender can apply for a determination of indigence, and the application must provide the defendant with the option to pay fines and fees through a payment plan or by completing community service. Traffic tickets must also include information about payment plans and community service.
- Monthly payments may not exceed 2% of the defendant’s annual income or $25 per month, whichever is greater.
Senator Brandes has already committed to re-introducing this bill in the 2019 legislative session. FFJC is a strong supporter of the bill.