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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Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 534.020(3)(b),(4) Methods of imposing fines; installment payment plan; determination of reason for defendant's default; show cause hearing; certain installment payments not to be reported as liquidated debt

(b) If the defendant fails to appear at the show cause hearing, the court may issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest. Any warrant for arrest issued for nonpayment of

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court costs, fees, or fines pursuant to this subsection shall include a notice to the jailer that the defendant shall be released upon payment or completion of daily credit pursuant to KRS 534.070.

(4) When a defendant is sentenced to pay court costs, fees, or fines, an alternative sentence of imprisonment that is to be served in the event the court costs, fees, or fines are not paid shall not be imposed at the same time. The response of a court to nonpayment shall be determined only after:

(a) The court costs, fees, or fines have not been paid; and

(b) 1. The show cause hearing has been held pursuant to subsections (2)(a) and (3)(a) of this section; or 2. The defendant has failed to appear at the show cause hearing as outlined in subsection (3)(b) of this section.

Other All No
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Kentucky Ky. RCr 2.05 Bench Warrants

Whenever a witness or defendant fails to appear in court as duly required, the presiding judge may issue a warrant for his or her arrest without the necessity of a

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supporting affidavit or complaint.

Other All No
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Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 9728(a) Collection - interest
Except as provided in subsection (b)(5), all restitution, reparation, fees, costs, fines and penalties shall be collected by the county probation department or other agent designated by the county commissioners
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of the county with the approval of the president judge of the county for that purpose in any manner provided by law. However, such restitution, reparation, fees, costs, fines and penalties are part of a criminal action or proceeding and shall not be deemed debts. A sentence, pretrial disposition order or order entered under section 6352 (relating to disposition of delinquent child) for restitution, reparation, fees, costs, fines or penalties shall, together with interest and any additional costs that may accrue, be a judgment in favor of the probation department upon the person or the property of the person sentenced or subject to the order.
Collection fee/interest All No
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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
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Pennsylvania 75 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 1541 Period of disqualification, revocation or suspension of operating privilege
Continued suspension of operating privilege.--A defendant ordered by the court under section 3816 (relating to requirements for driving under influence offenders), as the result of a conviction or Accelerated Rehabilitative
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Disposition of a violation of section 3802 to attend a treatment program for alcohol or drug addiction must successfully complete all requirements of the treatment program ordered by the court before the defendant's operating privilege may be restored. Successful completion of a treatment program includes the payment of all court-imposed fines and costs, as well as fees to be paid to the treatment program by the defendant. For the purposes of restoring a suspended license, being current on a payment plan shall be considered as a part of a successfully completed program. If a defendant fails to successfully complete the requirements of a treatment program, the suspension shall remain in effect until the defendant completes the program and is otherwise eligible for restoration of his operating privilege. The treatment agency shall immediately notify the court of successful completion of the treatment program. The final decision as to whether a defendant has successfully completed the treatment program rests with the court.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment Traffic Yes