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California SB 185: Crimes: infractions.

This bill would have ended the practice of suspending licenses as a sanction for nonpayment of fines and fees. It also mandated that judges reduce fines and fees and provided guidelines for determining a defendant’s ability to pay fines and fees.

Pay or Stay: The High Cost of Jailing Texans for Fines and Fees

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.

Thomas v. Haslam

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.

Confronting Criminal Justice Debt: A Guide for Policy Reform

This Guide for Policy Reform by Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program is organized into four issue areas: conflicts of interest, poverty penalties and poverty traps (when people are forced to pay more or face harsher sanctions because of their poverty), the ability-to-pay determination, and transparency and accountability. Under each of these sections, a description of the problem is followed by legislative, judicial, and executive reform suggestions for people at the state level to use and incorporate into their efforts.

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.
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