This Hawaii law specifies criteria that must be satisfied before a court can sentence a person to pay a fine. If the fine is the only punishment included in a sentence, the court cannot assess the fine unless “the person is or will be able to pay the fine,” and “the fine will not prevent the defendant from making restitution to the victim.”
Stearns examines the imposition and enforcement of Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) in Washington State on people unable to pay them and argues that the resulting disparities impact the ability of the criminal justice system to impose fair and meaningful penalties that hold people accountable and reduce recidivism.
Mr. Blazina was sentenced to 20 months in prison for second degree assault. Attached to his sentence was over $3000 in fees and tens of thousands of dollars in restitution. The Washington Supreme Court held that individualized inquiries of the defendant’s current and future ability to pay must be made before imposing Legal Financial Obligations.
Included in the appellant’s sentence was “court costs” of $234. The appellant appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support the amount of the costs.
This report examines the impact of the Florida Legislature’s decision to levy “user fees” on people accused and convicted of traffic violations, misdemeanors and felonies without providing exemptions for the indigent.
This report explains how Maryland’s parole supervision fee works against the rehabilitative goals of the state’s supervision policies and how the $40/month fee can impede a person’s successful reentry.
This working paper details the collateral consequences of fines and fees in New York and highlights how the conflicting goals of assessing fines and fees – punishment as well as the need for revenue – can threaten criminal justice system outcomes and disproportionately impact marginalized communities.
Harrison County Jail was a modern day debtors’ prison. Officers went to predominantly African American neighborhoods arbitrarily checking people to see if they had paid their court fines and fees.
Melissa Stephens, a mother of three, was forced to move from Wichita, Kansas to Las Vegas, Nevada because of $8000 of traffic ticket debt.
This statute details the procedural protections owed to defendants in instances of nonpayment of fines and fees. It also establishes explicit limits for nonpayment incarceration.