A rising trend among a majority of states, including Arizona, is imposing jail time in lieu of fines. Quite often, jail time does not reflect the severity of the crime, but the failure to pay the fines and fees associated with the criminal justice system. For example:
- In Georgia, a man was sentenced to a year in prison for stealing a can of beer.
- In Michigan, a teenager was sentenced to 3 days in jail for fishing out of season.
- Also in Michigan, a homeless veteran spent 22 days in jail because he was $25 short of paying a $50 court fee.
These are just a few examples of the trend sweeping across the nation to prevent future crimes.
A.R.S § 13-810 Consequences of Nonpayment of Fines
Under A.R.S. § 13-810, jail time may be imposed for failure to pay fines. In sum, it provides that:
- If the court finds that the defendant has willfully failed to pay a fine and refused to make good faith efforts to obtain the money to pay the fines, the court may do one of the following:
- Order the defendant incarcerated in the county jail until the fines are paid.
- Revoke the defendant’s probation, parole, or community supervision and sentence the defendant to prison.
- Garnish monies.
- If the court finds that the failure to pay was not willful and good faith efforts were made to obtain the money to pay the fines, the court may do one of the following:
- Modify the manner in which the fine is to be paid
- Enter any reasonable order that would assure compliance with the order to pay.
What Are These Fees?
These fees are costs associated with going through the criminal justice system. Every step of the criminal justice system, from the moment you are charged with a crime, enter the courtroom, go to jail, and/or placed on probation, you will incur fines. Common fees associated with going through the criminal system include:
- Pre-trial incarceration
- Application for public defender
- Jury fees
- Rental fee for monitoring devices
- Administrative costs
- Public defender reimbursement fees
- Prosecution reimbursement fees
Facing Criminal Charges In Arizona? Ariano & Reppucci Can Help
These fees can add up to hundreds, and easily thousands of dollars. Defendants and offenders play a huge role in paying for the criminal justice system. However, you may not have to. At Ariano & Repppucci, we will work with you to have your charges and their associated fines dismissed, or at the very least, reduced. Call us now to schedule a free consultation.