To combat the significant number of low level cases being sentenced to short periods of incarceration, Germany increased their use of fines, shortly thereafter adopting day fines to ensure that …
This paper summarizes the lessons, successes, and challenges of the San Francisco Financial Justice Project, especially concerning criminal justice fines and fees reform.
Although fines and fees can leave individuals with high amounts of debt, few court systems use standardized measures to determine an individual’s ability to pay. The amount of fees and …
County Clerks in Tennessee automatically suspend the driver’s license of persons who fail to pay their traffic debt within a 30-90 day window.
This report, including an interactive map, provides a 50-state analysis of state laws that regulate municipal imposition and collection of fines and fees. The analysis is based on 52 factors, organized into 7 broad categories, that measure the extent to which state laws “prohibit, sustain, encourage or neutralize” municipal reliance on fines and fees.
This brief describes reforms that were implemented after the San Francisco Superior Court’s decision to eliminate debt-based driver’s license suspensions.
This opinion from the American Bar Association addresses the obligations judges have to assess ability to pay when collecting fines and fees.
The City of Ferguson jails people when they cannot afford to pay their traffic debt and cash bonds for other minor offenses. No inquiry is made into the person’s ability to pay, no alternatives to payment are offered to the individuals, and no counsel is provided.
Individuals must pay their unrelated LaGrange Municipal court fines and fees before gaining access to basic utility services. Further, the City charges $50 for a public defender. Unable to pay for a public defender, most people plead guilty or nolo contendere.
This bill requires Maryland courts to establish a base fine for motor vehicle violations and use a formula to determine the amount an individual must pay.