Poverty Penalties and Poverty Traps

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State Statute Description/Statute Name Statutory language Type of poverty penalty or poverty trap Level of offense Mandatory
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Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 46-18-244(6) Type and time of payment--defenses--ensuring payment
For a felony offense: (a) during any period that the offender is incarcerated, the department of corrections shall take a percentage, as set by department rule, of any money in
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any account of the defendant administered by the department and use the money to satisfy any existing restitution obligation; (b) at the beginning of any period during which the offender is not incarcerated, the offender shall sign a statement allowing any employer of the offender to garnish up to 25% of the offender's compensation and give the garnished amounts to the department of corrections to be used by the department to satisfy any existing restitution obligation; and (c) during any period that the defendant is on probation or parole, the probation and parole officer shall set a monthly restitution payment amount by dividing the total amount of unpaid restitution by the number of remaining months of probation or parole. The probation and parole officer may adjust the monthly payment up or down by a maximum of 10%, depending on the offender's circumstances.
Wage/bank account garnishment All Yes
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Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 46-18-244(7) Type and time of payment--defenses--ensuring payment
The department of corrections shall give the department of revenue a copy of the order to pay restitution. If full restitution has not been paid, the department of revenue shall,
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pursuant to an agreement made under 46-18-241, intercept any state tax refunds and any federal tax refunds, as provided by law, due the offender and transfer the money to the department of corrections for a felony offense and to the sentencing court for a misdemeanor offense for disbursement to the victim.
Wage/bank account garnishment All Yes
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 5-6-111 Execution on judgments
Upon assessment of any fine and costs for the conviction of a violation of any ordinance of a city or town, judgment shall be entered against the defendant in favor
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of the city or town. If the judgment is not paid within ninety (90) days from the date of the judgment the city or town may collect judgment by execution in circuit court in the manner provided by law. Except as otherwise provided by law all amounts recovered pursuant to this section shall be deposited with the city or town treasurer, used for the benefit of the city or town, and credited against the fine and reasonable costs of collection.
Payment plan/installment plan All Yes
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 5-6-152 Suit to enforce collection or transmittal of fines; failure to transmit constitutes cause for removal from office; liability on judge's bond
If it is apparent through examination conducted by the Wyoming supreme court, or by other means, that any fines or forfeitures have not been transmitted, the county attorney shall bring
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suit to enforce the collection or transmittal, or both. Failure to transmit fines, forfeitures or costs is misconduct which constitutes cause for removal from office.
Payment plan/installment plan All Yes
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 31-9-303 Continued suspension until judgment satisfied; discharge in bankruptcy
Except as provided in W.S. 31-9-305, the license, registration and nonresident's operating privilege shall not be renewed, nor shall any license or registration be issued in the name of the
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person, including any person not previously licensed, until every judgment is stayed, satisfied or discharged, except that a discharge in bankruptcy does satisfy the judgment for the purposes of this section.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-18-114 Record and disbursement of wages; exemption from process; confidentiality of amount
(a) Wages earned by an inmate, parolee or offender while in an adult community corrections program shall be retained and accounted for by the program operator and shall be disbursed
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for the purposes provided in this subsection and in the order specified: (i) Personal necessities; (ii) Room and board to the program operator at a rate to be established by the department; (iii) Support of dependent relations; (iv) Court ordered restitution, fines, sanctions and reimbursement for the services of public defender or court appointed counsel, the surcharge imposed under W.S. 1-40-119, victims compensation obligations under W.S. 1-40-112(g) and the surcharge imposed under W.S. 7-13-1616; (v) Repealed by Laws 1999, ch. 62, § 2. (vi) Costs of health insurance; and (vii) Remaining funds shall be paid to the inmate, parolee or offender upon parole or final discharge. (b) Wages earned by offenders, other than parolees or inmates, while in a residential adult community corrections program shall be retained and accounted for by the program operator and shall be disbursed only for the purposes and in the order specified in subsection (a) of this section unless otherwise ordered by the sentencing court. Any remaining funds shall be paid to the offender upon his satisfactory discharge from the program. Upon revocation of an offender's probation, the program operator shall forward any remaining funds to the court or to the institution to which the offender is sentenced as directed by the court. (c) Program operators shall keep an accurate record and account of all wages earned by inmates, parolees and offenders pursuant to the rules promulgated by the department. (d) The earnings of inmates under this act are not subject to garnishment, attachment or execution. (e) Information relating to the amount of wages earned by an inmate, parolee or offender in an adult community corrections program is confidential and is not subject to public inspection.
Wage/bank account garnishment All Yes
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 5-6-111 Execution on judgments
Upon assessment of any fine and costs for the conviction of a violation of any ordinance of a city or town, judgment shall be entered against the defendant in favor
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of the city or town. If the judgment is not paid within ninety (90) days from the date of the judgment the city or town may collect judgment by execution in circuit court in the manner provided by law. Except as otherwise provided by law all amounts recovered pursuant to this section shall be deposited with the city or town treasurer, used for the benefit of the city or town, and credited against the fine and reasonable costs of collection.
Civil judgment Misdemeanor Yes
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Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 7-16-104 Labor by prisoners. County jail. Credits.
7-16-104. Credits. (a) The sentencing court may reduce the term of a sentence, fine, costs or attorney fees of a prisoner sentenced to imprisonment or placed on
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probation, for work performed under W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104. (b) If a reduction is ordered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the reduction shall be: (i) At the rate of one (1) day for each eight (8) hours of work performed under W.S. 7-16-101 through 7-16-104, provided the reduction in sentence shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the original sentence; (ii) In an amount equal to the federal minimum hourly wage for each hour of work performed provided that the total amount of reduction in the fine, costs or attorney fees shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the total amount of the fine, costs and attorney fees.(c) The court shall direct whether the credits under subsection (b) of this section shall apply against the prisoner's term of imprisonment, his fine, court costs, attorney fees or other fees imposed by the court. (d) A person committed to county jail for refusal to pay a fine or costs shall, in addition to the credit allowed by W.S. 6-10-105, be granted a credit against his fine or costs in an amount equal to the federal minimum hourly wage for each hour of work performed.
Work program/jail industry program All Yes
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Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.907(11) Restitution by defendant convicted of misdemeanor
If a person fails to comply with an order or judgment issued under this section within the time prescribed by the court, the driver's license of that person shall be
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suspended under section 321a until full compliance with that order or judgment occurs. In addition to this suspension, the court may also proceed under section 908.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.70.010  Commitment until fine and costs are paid
When the defendant is adjudged to pay a fine and costs, the court shall order him or her to be committed to the custody of the sheriff until the fine
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and costs are paid or secured as provided by law.
Incarceration All Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.94A.760(4)  Legal financial obligations
For an offense committed on or after July 1, 2000, the court shall retain jurisdiction over the offender, for purposes of the offender's compliance with payment of the legal financial
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obligations, until the obligation is completely satisfied, regardless of the statutory maximum for the crime.
Condition or extension of supervision All Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 46.20.289 Suspension for failure to respond, appear, etc.
The department shall suspend all driving privileges of a person when the department receives notice from a court under RCW 46.63.070(6), 46.63.110(6), or 46.64.025 that the person has failed to
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respond to a notice of traffic infraction for a moving violation, failed to appear at a requested hearing for a moving violation, violated a written promise to appear in court for a notice of infraction for a moving violation, or has failed to comply with the terms of a notice of traffic infraction, criminal complaint, or citation for a moving violation, or when the department receives notice from another state under Article IV of the nonresident violator compact under RCW 46.23.010 or from a jurisdiction that has entered into an agreement with the department under RCW 46.23.020, other than for a standing, stopping, or parking violation, provided that the traffic infraction or traffic offense is committed on or after July 1, 2005. A suspension under this section takes effect pursuant to the provisions of RCW 46.20.245, and remains in effect until the department has received a certificate from the court showing that the case has been adjudicated, and until the person meets the requirements of RCW 46.20.311. In the case of failure to respond to a traffic infraction issued under RCW 46.55.105, the department shall suspend all driving privileges until the person provides evidence from the court that all penalties and restitution have been paid. A suspension under this section does not take effect if, prior to the effective date of the suspension, the department receives a certificate from the court showing that the case has been adjudicated.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment Traffic Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.94A.760 Legal Financial Obligations
The court must on either the judgment and sentence or on a subsequent order to pay, designate the total amount of a legal financial obligation and segregate this amount among
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the separate assessments made for restitution, costs, fines, and other assessments required by law. On the same order, the court is also to set a sum that the offender is required to pay on a monthly basis towards satisfying the legal financial obligation. If the court fails to set the offender monthly payment amount, the department shall set the amount if the department has active supervision of the offender, otherwise the county clerk shall set the amount.
Payment plan/installment plan All Yes
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Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.56.110 (West) Interest on judgments
Except as provided under subsections (1), (2), and (3) of this section, judgments shall bear interest from the date of entry at the maximum rate permitted under RCW 19.52.020 on
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the date of entry thereof. In any case where a court is directed on review to enter judgment on a verdict or in any case where a judgment entered on a verdict is wholly or partly affirmed on review, interest on the judgment or on that portion of the judgment affirmed shall date back to and shall accrue from the date the verdict was rendered. The method for determining an interest rate prescribed by this subsection is also the method for determining the “rate applicable to civil judgments” for purposes of RCW 10.82.090.
Collection fee/interest All Yes
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Washington DC DC ST § 15-102 Lien of judgment, decree, or forfeited recognizance
(a) Each --(1) final judgment or decree for the payment of money rendered in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or the Superior Court of the
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District of Columbia, from the date such judgment or decree is filed and recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia, and (2) recognizance taken by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, or the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, from the date the entry or order of forfeiture of such recognizance is filed and recorded in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia, shall constitute a lien on all the freehold and leasehold estates, legal and equitable, of the defendants bound by such judgment, decree, or recognizance, in any land, tenements, or hereditaments in the District of Columbia, whether the estates are in possession or are reversions or remainders, vested or contingent. Such liens on equitable interest may be enforced only by an action to foreclose.
Property liens All Yes
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West Virginia W. Va. Code §62-4-17. Criminal procedure - Recovery of fines in criminal cases - Suspension of licenses for failure to pay fines and costs or failure to appear in court.
(a) If costs, fines, forfeitures, penalties or restitution imposed by the circuit court upon conviction of a person for any criminal offense under this code are not paid in full
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when ordered to do so by the court, the circuit clerk shall notify the division of motor vehicles of such failure to pay: Provided, That at the time the judgment is imposed, the court shall provide the person with written notice that failure to pay the same when ordered to do so shall result in the suspension of such person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state and that such suspension could result in the cancellation of, the failure to renew or the failure to issue an automobile insurance policy providing coverage for such person or such person's family: Provided, however, That the failure of the court to provide such notice shall not affect the validity of any suspension of such person's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state. For purposes of this section, such period of time within which the person is required to pay shall be stayed during any period an appeal from the conviction which resulted in the imposition of such costs, fines, forfeitures or penalties is pending.Upon such notice, the division of motor vehicles shall suspend the person's driver's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state until such time that the costs, fines, forfeitures or penalties are paid. (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section to the contrary, the notice of the failure to pay such costs, fines, forfeitures or penalties shall not be given where the circuit court, upon application of the person upon whom the same were imposed filed prior to the expiration of the period within which the same are required to be paid, enters an order finding that such person is financially unable to pay all or a portion of the same: Provided, That where the circuit court, upon finding that the person is financially unable to pay the full amount thereof, requires the person to pay the remaining portion thereof, the circuit clerk shall notify the division of motor vehicles of such person's failure to pay the same if the same is not paid within the period of time ordered by such court. (c) If a person charged with a criminal offense fails to appear or otherwise respond in court after having received notice to do so, the court shall notify the division of motor vehicles thereof within fifteen days of the scheduled date to appear unless such person sooner appears or otherwise responds in court to the satisfaction of the court. Upon such notice, the division of motor vehicles shall suspend the person's driver's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state until such time that the person appears as required.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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West Virginia W. Va. Code §50-3-2a. Magistrate courts - Costs, fines and records - Payment by credit card or payment plan; suspension of licenses for failure to make payments or appear or respond; restitution; liens.
(c) (1) If any costs, fines, fees, forfeitures, restitution or penalties imposed by the magistrate court in a criminal case are not paid within one hundred eighty days from the
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date of judgment and the expiration of any stay of execution, the magistrate court clerk or, upon judgment rendered on appeal, the circuit clerk shall notify the Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles of the failure to pay: Provided, That in a criminal case in which a nonresident of this state is convicted of a motor vehicle violation defined in section three-a, article three, chapter seventeen-b of this code, the appropriate clerk shall notify the Division of Motor Vehicles of the failure to pay within eighty days from the date of judgment and expiration of any stay of execution. Upon notice, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall suspend any privilege the person defaulting on payment may have to operate a motor vehicle in this state, including any driver's license issued to the person by the Division of Motor Vehicles, until all costs, fines, fees, forfeitures, restitution or penalties are paid in full. The suspension shall be imposed in accordance with the provisions of section six, article three, chapter seventeen-b of this code: Provided, That any person who has had his or her license to operate a motor vehicle in this state suspended pursuant to this subsection and his or her failure to pay is based upon inability to pay, may, if he or she is employed on a full- or part-time basis, petition to the circuit court for an order authorizing him or her to operate a motor vehicle solely for employment purposes. Upon a showing satisfactory to the court of inability to pay, employment and compliance with other applicable motor vehicle laws, the court shall issue an order granting relief.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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West Virginia W. Va. Code §50-3-2a. Magistrate courts - Costs, fines and records - Payment by credit card or payment plan; suspension of licenses for failure to make payments or appear or respond; restitution; liens.
(f) (1) If all costs, fines, fees, forfeitures, restitution or penalties imposed by a magistrate court and ordered to be paid are not paid within one hundred eighty days from
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the date of judgment and the expiration of any stay of execution, the clerk of the magistrate court shall notify the prosecuting attorney of the county of nonpayment and provide the prosecuting attorney with an abstract of judgment. The prosecuting attorney shall file the abstract of judgment in the office of the clerk of the county commission in the county where the defendant was convicted and in any county wherein the defendant resides or owns property. The clerks of the county commissions shall record and index the abstracts of judgment without charge or fee to the prosecuting attorney and when so recorded, the amount stated to be owing in the abstract shall constitute a lien against all property of the defendant.
Property liens All Yes
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West Virginia W. Va. Code §50-3-2c.
Magistrate courts - Costs, fines and records - Withholding from personal income tax refunds for unpaid fines and costs in magistrate criminal actions, in magistrate criminal appeals to circuit court
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and for failure to appear in court.
(a) If costs, fines, fees, forfeitures, restitution or penalties imposed by the magistrate court upon conviction of a person for a criminal offense as defined by this code, imposed by
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the circuit court upon judgment on an appeal to circuit court of that conviction, or imposed by either court for failure to appear are not paid in full within one year of the judgment, the magistrate court clerk or, upon a judgment rendered on appeal, the circuit clerk shall notify the Tax Commissioner that the defendant has failed to pay the costs, fines, forfeitures or penalties assessed by the court. The notice provided by the magistrate clerk or the circuit clerk to the Tax Commissioner must include the defendant's Social Security number. The Tax Commissioner, or his or her designee, shall withhold from any personal income tax refund due and owing to a defendant the costs, fines, fees, forfeitures, restitution or penalties due, the Tax Commissioner's administration fee for the withholding and any and all fees or other amounts that the magistrate court and the circuit court would have collected had the defendant appeared: Provided, That no withholding shall be made under this section if there is an unsatisfied withholding request made pursuant to section two-b, article ten, chapter eight of this code. The Tax Commissioner's administration fee shall not exceed $25, unless this maximum amount is increased by legislative rule promulgated in accordance with article three, chapter twenty- nine-a of this code. The administrative fees deducted shall be deposited in the special revolving fund hereby created in the State Treasury, which shall be designated as the Magistrate Fines and Fees Collection Fund, and the Tax Commissioner shall make such expenditures from the fund as he or she deems appropriate for the administration of this subsection.
Wage/bank account garnishment All Yes
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Pennsylvania Pa. R. Crim. P. 430(B)(4) Failure to respond to traffic citation
(4) that failure to respond to the citation as provided above within the time specified: (a) shall result in the issuance of
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a summons when a violation of an ordinance or any parking offense is charged, or when the defendant is under 18 years of age, and in all other cases shall result in the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the defendant; and (b) shall result in the suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license when a violation of the Vehicle Code is charged;
Driver's license suspension/impoundment Traffic Yes