The bill provides that when a person fails to pay their fines and fees (whether for traffic, misdemeanor, or felony offenses), a clerk will provide written notice advising that failure to pay within the following 90 days will result in the court pursuing collection of the debt. Before this law was passed, courts suspended driver’s licenses for nonpayment.
Nevada AB 434 makes several changes regarding collection of fines, fees, and restitution. Previously, the law allowed courts to enter a civil judgment; garnish property or wages; suspend driver’s licenses; and incarcerate defendants for nonpayment.
This report identifies several promising issue areas for fines and fees reform in Arkansas, including nonpayment incarceration, driver’s license suspension for unpaid fines and fees, and probation fees. The authors interviewed 205 people who were charged and/or incarcerated over inability to pay fines and fees; performed court-watching in 8 counties; sent almost 300 records requests; and interviewed Arkansas criminal justice and social service stakeholders.
Chris S.’s driver’s license was suspended five times for failure to pay fines. He never received prior notice that his license was being suspended. He never had an opportunity to explain why it should not be suspended.
: Kimberly S. is a mother of three who battled to overcome drug addiction. She has been convicted of failure to pay 10 times in the last four years, each time incurring $450 to $670 in additional debt, and sentences of as much as 30 days in jail.
During the early morning of January 2, 2019, Hayes was pulled over for his headlight and the officer informed him that his license was suspended. Hayes had no idea that his license was suspended and later found out that it was because he had unpaid tickets from 5 to 6 years ago.
Rick Venable is currently homeless and sleeping in the woods in Jacksonville as a result of a spiral that started with driver's license suspension.
Matthew Holland is a 32 year old African-American male living in Spring Hill, FL. His license has been suspended for seven years due to unpaid criminal court debt that he owes dating back to convictions as an 18-year-old in 2006.
Celeste Sawyer is a single mother of five children living in Florida. Her driver’s license was suspended, because she accumulated $584 of traffic ticket debt.
Knapp's license has been suspended since March of 2010 due to unpaid fines and fees that she owes in Escambia County totaling near $7,000 stemming from a mix of both traffic and criminal cases.