Some of you have probably seen the School’s bench card on Criminal Monetary Obligations (it is available here). It may sometimes be helpful as a background reference, but it’s not set up in a way that helps a court put the law into action.
In 2010, I wrote a post asking, “Can a defendant be ordered to pay restitution based on offenses that did not result in a conviction?” The court of appeals answered that question this week in State v. Murphy. Continue reading →
A district attorney generally has discretion in structuring his or her approach to deferred prosecutions. The DA could have a broad program, allowing deferrals for all defendants who might be eligible as a matter of law. Or there could be no program at all (aside from the handful of diversions that are mandatory in certain circumstances). Regardless, whatever program the State has must not discriminate against defendants based on an improper classification. Characteristics like religion and race obviously are not permissible bases on which to condition access to a deferral program. A more difficult question, though, is what role a defendant’s financial situation may play in the State’s decision to defer prosecution. Continue reading →
In my last post, I wrote about when the court should and must consider a defendant’s ability to pay a monetary obligation. Today’s post talks about some of the specific factors the court might consider in evaluating a person’s ability to pay. Continue reading →
In my last post I wrote about some of the statutory options for providing relief from various criminal legal financial obligations. Several of my “friends” gave me a hard time about the post, saying the subject must be pretty complicated if I wasn’t able to compile it into some sort of table. Challenge accepted. Continue reading →