This bench card, which can be modified for state and local jurisdictions, advises judges on how to sanction indigent defendants for nonpayment of fines and fees without resorting to incarceration, outlines procedural protections for defendants who are unable to pay, and outlines standards for determining indigence.
For individuals who are unable to pay their fines and fees, their total debt may be cited and entered into the district court judgement docket. A judge may also replace fines and fees with court-ordered community service (credited at a minimum rate of at least federal minimum wage), if community service doesn’t cause undue hardship.
Effective June 7, 2018, this bill makes several changes to the imposition and collection of fines and fees in Washington State.
This joint report by Texas Appleseed and the Texas Fair Defense Project evaluates how often fine-only offenses - offenses punishable only by a fine and no jail sentence – in fact subject Texans to jail time and suspensions of driver’s licenses or the inability to renew a license or register a vehicle because of their inability to pay.
This bill describes how Nebraska courts should proceed in instances where a person cannot pay their fines and fees. It prohibits incarcerating people who cannot afford to pay and allows courts to reduce or waive fines and fees, or offer community service as an alternative.
This article focuses on a potential reform with increasing bipartisan support: the graduation of economic sanctions according to a person’s financial circumstances, also known as "day fines" or "means-adjusted fines."
In misdemeanor and felony cases, Tennessee automatically revoked a person’s driver’s license if they failed to pay court fines and fees one year after they were imposed.
On a rainy night, James took shelter under a bridge and was arrested for criminal trespass. Mr. Thomas was found guilty and assessed court costs. He advised the clerk of his circumstances and never heard anything else about the outstanding debt until 2016, when he was denied a Tennessee’s driver’s license.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Office for Access to Justice issued a formal advisory to recipients of DOJ funds about the enforcement of fines and fees in juvenile courts.
This bill directs Oregon’s Department of Transportation to create a program that allows certain individuals who have had their driver’s licenses suspended to apply for a reduction or waiver of the criminal justice debt that prevents them from regaining driving privileges.