With the help of Microsoft and a Department of Justice grant, the state of Washington launched a web-based Calculator to enable judges, defendants, and public defenders to calculate fines and fees owed. Judges who use the tool can access examples of questions that they might ask defendants to more precisely determine ability to pay as well as information on current Washington law so that judges know where they may exercise discretion in levying fines and fees. The Calculator also links to a form defendants must file to have previously-imposed interest remitted.
The launch of the Calculator coincided with WA House Bill 1783 which eliminated the 12% interest that Washington previously imposed on fines and fees.
You can access the LFO Calculator here.
We’re trying to encourage the judicial branch to think about the realities of the impacts [of fees] and to create a system that’s reasonable, where defendants can have a fresh start when they complete their sentences. —Judge Coburn