Paying Misdemeanor FinesAuthor: Kevin Jones
Misdemeanor cases are criminal in nature.
The maximum penalty for misdemeanors filed in the Fort Collins Municipal Court is a fine of $1,000 or 6 months in jail, or both. If a fine or cost is assessed in your Municipal Court case, that amount is due when it is assessed. If you cannot pay the amount due in full at that time, you will need to talk with a clerk about obtaining a Promissory Note. If you sign a Note and then fail to pay that Note on time, a pay or serve warrant may be issued.If you are assessed a fine, you would be expected to pay it before leaving the courthouse, or to meet with court staff set up payments. If the charge is alcohol related or assault, you may be required to undergo an assessment by the Corrections Department before you are sentenced by the court. Many cases are scheduled at the same time for arraignment court. You should expect to be at the court several hours.
A misdemeanor offense may seem minor in comparison to other criminal charges. This assumption causes many people to simply plead guilty to misdemeanor charges without even consulting an attorney — this is a mistake. A conviction for a misdemeanor offense can result in fines of up to $6,000 and a permanent criminal record.
Many people are able to pay fines and all these other assessments. But a legislator who ever visited a typical courthouse would find it largely dealing with indigent defendants. Public defenders and assigned counsel represent most defendants, whose ability to pay these fees is largely illusory.
Where the defendant is incarcerated, the state may need to obtain these sums via a judgment, to be deducted from whatever is earned while incarcerated. Penal Law § 60.35(5)(a). A judge may also specify in the “Remarks” section of commitment papers that fees are not to be collected from inmate funds.
A Fine is a way to dispose of your case by paying money. A Surcharge means court costs which you may also have to pay. In criminal law, sum of money exacted by a lawful tribunal as punishment for a crime. In the case of misdemeanors and minor infractions of the law, convicted persons ordinarily have the alternative of paying a fine or undergoing a short term of imprisonment. This practice has been condemned at times as potentially exposing the poor to more onerous punishment than the well-to-do. Fines are also sometimes imposed in convictions for felony, usually in addition to a prison sentence. The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibits the imposition of excessive fines, but the Supreme Court has never found that any statutory fine violated that provision.About the Author:
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