Personal Narrative: Demetrice Moore

Demetrice Moore is a certified nursing assistant and mother of two children. In 2002, she was convicted of grand larceny, and sentenced to jail and to pay court costs, including the cost of the lawyer appointed to represent her because she was indigent. She served her jail time, but was unable to pay the court costs she owed, which resulted in the automatic suspension of her Virginia driver’s license.

Personal Narrative: Jared

"The court fines for Virginia were $611 as well as a $150 driver's license reinstatement fee to the Virginia DMV. Once my case was transferred to Illinois, where I live, I was charged by my home county another $600 for probation services fees. In total, court fees cost me $1361."

Virginia Supreme Court Rule 3B:2. Uniform Fine Schedule.

This rule creates a standardized schedule for fines that can be imposed without a court hearing (i.e., fines imposed by a clerk or magistrate after a motorist enters a written guilty plea and waives their court hearing). The rule provides that clerks and magistrates may not impose any fine amount that differs from this schedule, but the schedule does not restrict judges’ discretion in court hearings.

Stinnie v. Holcomb

This case challenges the constitutionality of a Virginia statute that requires the automatic suspension of the driver’s licenses of people who fail to pay court fines and fees.

Personal Narrative: Damian Stinnie

During his search for new employment, Stinnie received four traffic citations that totaled $1002.00 in fines and fees. He was unable to pay, and his license was suspended. The first time he knew his license had been suspended was when he was stopped and cited by the police for driving with a suspended driver’s license.