This Act reduces the amount of fees charged to individuals who receive a minor traffic or municipal ordinance violation and changes the procedure for charging fines and fees to people who receive minor traffic or municipal ordinance violations.
- Municipal courts may no longer assess a fine for minor traffic violations and municipal ordinance violations if the combined fines and fees will be greater than (a) $225 for minor traffic violations; (b) $275 for the first municipal violation; (c) $275 for the second municipal violation, (d) $350 for the third municipal violation; or (e) $450 for the fourth or any subsequent violations committed within a 12-month period.
- An individual cannot be jailed for failure to pay a fine unless nonpayment violates the terms of their probation or unless the due process procedures mandated by the Missouri Supreme Court are strictly followed.
- If a court finds that the defendant is indigent, no fees can be assessed against that defendant.
- No additional charge can be issued for failure to appear for a minor traffic violation.
- If the percentage of the city’s annual general operating revenue derived from fines and fees for municipal ordinance violations and minor traffic violations exceeds 20%, the excess amount is sent to the state’s department of revenue, and the department will then distribute the excess money to schools in the county.
- Municipal courts must establish procedures (1) that allow indigent defendants to present evidence of their financial condition; (2) make use of community service alternatives instead of imposing costs; and (3) allow for the use of alternative payment plans.
Primary sponsor(s): Eric Schmitt
Bill number: SB 572