Louisiana House Bill 249 protects people convicted of a felony and their dependents from facing undue hardship because of fines and fees. This bill amends an earlier statute to differentiate between people who are unable to pay their court costs and those who willfully refuse to pay, providing specific procedures that govern how courts should handle each form of nonpayment. The bill also includes provisions related to collections of fines and fees, payment plans, probation, and other relevant programs.
- If the court finds that paying the full amount of fines and fees would cause financial hardship, all or a portion of imposed court costs will be waived or a monthly payment plan will be ordered.
- If a person granted a payment plan consistently makes payments toward their court costs for 12 consecutive months or for half of their supervision, whichever time period is longer, all other fines and fees will be forgiven.
- In cases where restitution is ordered and a person is on a payment plan, 50% of their monthly payment will go toward their restitution obligation.