Filing for bankruptcy to avoid car impoundments and or a boot that immobilizes their vehicle has become a popular “remedy” for Chicago drivers who can’t afford to pay off debt from traffic tickets, parking violations, and vehicle compliance infractions.
This law review article makes the case that the Eight Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause may be a better, albeit underdeveloped, provision to address the epidemic of debtor’s prisons.
Idaho’s HB 599 makes two important changes to Idaho law. First, drivers’ licenses will no longer be suspended for nonpayment of court fines and fees. Previously, Idaho suspended licenses for nonpayment of infraction fines and fees, including virtually all traffic violations. Second, the bill decriminalizes driving on a suspended license.
In this report, the Chicago Jobs Council describes how suspending a person’s driver’s license for unpaid fines and fees can prevent them from ever paying off their debt and destabilize their finances.
This statute would require the Commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety to report annually on driver’s license suspensions and revocations to the legislature and the public. The report must …
This resolution urges state legislators to limit driver’s license suspensions “to conduct that involves offenders with dangerous driving,” such as driving under the influence or committing multiple moving violations.
This bill amends an Arizona statute which required judges to suspend a defendant’s driver’s license for nonpayment of fines and fees. The bill allows courts, at their discretion, to adjust fines and fees that result in license suspension based on an individual’s ability to pay.
This 2018 bill - which did not pass - marks the third consecutive year that Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) introduced legislation to end driver’s license suspension for nonpayment of fines and fees in Florida. This bill would also have required courts to provide reasonable payment alternatives for poor defendants, including payment plans and performing community service to pay fines.
The Durham County District Attorney’s office and the Bloomberg-funded Durham Innovation Team partnered to create the Durham Driver Amnesty Program. In its pilot phase, the District Attorney dismissed 2,500 pending charges for eligible participants which kept them from obtaining their driver’s license.
This issue brief discusses how fines and fees harm communities and puts forward several strategies that prosecutors can use to mitigate these harms.