Minnesota HF 3357: Reduction or waiver of the criminal and traffic surcharge authorized; courts required to consider indigency or hardship before imposing fines, fees, or surcharges; and notice required.

This bill would allow Minnesota courts to reduce or waive fines and fees imposed on defendants in criminal and traffic court, require courts to consider ability to pay before sentencing a defendant to pay a fine or fee, and require that traffic tickets inform recipients of the court’s ability to waive or reduce fines and fees.

This bill was introduced as part of a legislative package that includes HF 3356 and HF 3358. You can read the full text of HF 3357 here.

Key Provisions
  • Following an ability-to-pay determination, courts will have the discretion to reduce or waive the state surcharge (or to offer community service as an alternative to payment).
  • Courts must consider ability to pay before sentencing a person to pay a fine or fee unless the defendant pays all fines and fees without appearing before the court or does not request a hearing and pays all fines and fees before being convicted
  • Traffic tickets will now inform recipients that they may be required to pay a state surcharge and that this fee may be waived or reduced if the recipient can demonstrate financial hardship
Nick Zerwas
HF 3357