The amount of debt owed to North Carolina’s criminal courts has increased at a staggering rate. This report gives a scope of how much debt is uncollectible, identifies the people in the state most harmed by the current system, and pinpoints the case types that yield the lion’s share of this debt.
After experimenting with this policy for about two months, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich has permanently adopted a policy of declining to prosecute driving on a suspended license in cases where the license was suspended or revoked for nonpayment of fines and fees.
This report examines in detail the collateral consequences of Alabama’s court debt system and explores the ways in which it undermines public safety and drives the state’s racial wealth divide.
In Tennessee, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk announced that he will stop prosecuting driver's license violations that result from failure to pay fines and fees, such as driving on a suspended license. His office predicts that this policy change could keep 12,000 charges out of Nashville courtrooms over the next year.
The author argues for an exception to the Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) abstention doctrine (Younger abstention) in cases challenging the criminalization of poverty.
Since 2010, dozens of cities in California have hired a private law firm to prosecute people on the city’s behalf for municipal code violation and in civil forfeiture cases.
California’s legislature moved to prohibit the state, cities and counties from charging defendants prosecution fees, including attorney’s fees, unless specifically authorized by state law.
This complaint alleges that the cities of Indio and Coachella outsourced the prosecution of some municipal code violations to a private law firm, Silver and Wright LLP.
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.