Rebellious lawyering empowers those affected by the issue to come up with solutions to their own problems. It should be a collective effort between the lawyers and legal services clients and community members from grassroots organizing groups.
This bill would limit a court's ability to suspend a defendant’s driver’s license, repeal a number of statutes that treat driver’s license suspension as an enforcement mechanism for unpaid fines and fees, and amend several other statutes.
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.
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.
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.
Alameda County Court informed the California Department of Motor Vehicles when someone failed to pay their traffic debt. Failure to pay resulted in the suspension of the person’s driver’s license.
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.
This guide aims to inform litigators about various strategies to defend and gain relief for individual clients burdened by criminal justice debt. It also serves to foster communication and understanding among stakeholders who work in this particular area of the justice system.
This video provides an overview of the history of debtors’ prisons in the U.S. and features compelling commentary from citizens describing how our current system of court fines and fees put them in difficult situations and made them resort to desperate measures for survival.
The Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles referred people who owed court fines and fees for traffic tickets to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) without any inquiry into the individual’s ability to pay. A referral to the DMV resulted in the suspension of the person’s driver’s license.