San Francisco County Ordinance No. 131-18: Administrative Code – Criminal Justice System Fees and Penalties

This ordinance abolishes all discretionary fees imposed by San Francisco County. While the state of California mandates certain fees and surcharges for criminal convictions, the County has discretion to impose (or not impose) criminal justice fees. The following fees were eliminated by this legislation:

  • $50 fee for alcohol content tests in DUI convictions.
  • Fees for probation costs, conditional sentences, pre-plea and presentence investigation, pre-sentence reports, jurisdictional transfers, and requests for interstate compact supervision.
  • Restitution collection fee for adults and juveniles.
  • Restitution fine administrative fees.
  • Adult probation booking fee.
  • Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program fees.
  • $7 assessment related to the San Francisco’s Automated County Warrant System.
  • Fees for participation in the Home Detention and Electronic Monitoring Program.

The first section of the ordinance provides context for the elimination of these fees by discussing how fees placed a substantial financial burden on justice-involved people and their families, especially African-Americans, at a time when they are trying to successfully reenter society.

By removing these financial burdens and the outstanding debt they create that hangs over thousands of families, San Francisco hopes to inspire other jurisdictions to lift this burden off of low-income families, and to find more fair and just ways to fund their criminal justice systems.

You can read the full text of this ordinance here. Additional information about the adoption of this ordinance can be found in the San Francisco Fines and Fees Task Force Report as well as FFJC’s June 2018 newsletter.

London N. Breed, Malia Cohen, Katy Tang, Jeff Sheehy, Norman Yee, Ahsha Safai, Sandra Lee Fewer, Hillary Ronen, Catherine Stefani