Maryland HB 1178: Pilot Project for Income-Based Fines (Fair Fines Act of 2020)

This bill requires Maryland courts to establish a base fine for motor vehicle violations and use a formula to determine the amount an individual must pay. The bill also allows courts to reduce fine amounts or impose a period of community service instead of a fine if an individual has experienced a hardship. 

You can read the full text of the bill here

Key Provisions
  • Establishes a formula for calculating the amount an individual must pay that uses their adjusted gross income (AGI), the Federal Poverty Level, and the amount of the base fine. 
  • Employment, public benefits, investments, rental property and income from intellectual property may be used to determine an individual’s AGI.
  • When calculating AGI, courts must deduct 33% for individuals who have taxes withheld from their income and may deduct up to 15% for monthly expenses including costs of support care for dependents, medical expenses, educational costs and child support.
  • Requires that courts use the jurisdiction’s minimum wage rate to determine the number of community service hours to be imposed.
Vaughn Stewart 
HB 1178