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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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art 43.09 (f),(j)-(k) Fine Discharged

(f) A court may require a defendant who is unable to pay a fine or costs to discharge all or part of the fine or costs by performing community service.

(j) A court

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may not order a defendant to perform more than 16 hours per week of community service under Subsection (f) unless the court determines that requiring the defendant to perform additional hours does not impose an undue hardship on the defendant or the defendant’s dependents.

(k) A defendant is considered to have discharged $100 of fines or costs for each eight hours of community service performed under Subsection (f) of this article

Community service All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 42.15(c) Fines and Costs

When imposing a fine and costs in a misdemeanor case, if the court determines that the defendant is unable to immediately pay the fine and costs, the court shall allow

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the defendant to pay the fine and costs in specified portions at designated intervals.

Payment plan/installment plan Misdemeanor Yes
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.752(a)-(b) Continuation or Modification of Community Supervision After Violation

(a) If after a hearing under Article 42A.751(d) a judge continues or modifies community supervision after determining that the defendant violated a condition of community supervision, the judge may impose any

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other conditions the judge determines are appropriate, including: (1) a requirement that the defendant perform community service for a number of hours specified by the court under Article 42A.304, or an increase in the number of hours that the defendant has previously been required to perform under that article in an amount not to exceed double the number of hours permitted by that article; (2) an extension of the period of community supervision, in the manner described by Article 42A.753; (3) an increase in the defendant’s fine, in the manner described by Subsection (b); or (4) the placement of the defendant in a substance abuse felony punishment program operated under Section 493.009, Government Code . . . 

(b) A judge may impose a sanction on a defendant described by Subsection (a)(3) by increasing the fine imposed on the defendant. The original fine imposed on the defendant and an increase in the fine imposed under this subsection may not exceed the maximum fine for the offense for which the defendant was sentenced. The judge shall deposit money received from an increase in the defendant’s fine under this subsection in the special fund of the county treasury to be used for the same purposes for which state aid may be used under Chapter 76, Government Code.

Community service, Extension of probation/supervision, Increased fine All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 43.07 Execution for Fine and Costs

In each case of pecuniary fine, an execution may issue for the fine and costs, though a capias pro fine was issued for the defendant; and a capias pro fine

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may issue for the defendant though an execution was issued against the defendant's property. The execution shall be collected and returned as in civil actions. When the execution has been collected, the defendant shall be at once discharged; and whenever the fine and costs have been legally discharged in any way, the execution shall be returned satisfied.

Property liens All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.751(a)(8)-(9) Basic Discretionary Conditions

The judge of the court having jurisdiction of the case shall determine the conditions of community supervision. The judge may impose any reasonable condition that is designed to protect or

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restore the community, protect or restore the victim, or punish, rehabilitate, or reform the defendant. Conditions of community supervision may include conditions requiring the defendant to:

(8) pay in one or more amounts: (A) the defendant’s fine, if one is assessed; and (B) all court costs, regardless of whether a fine is assessed;

(9) support the defendant’s dependents

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.751(b),(e) Violation of Conditions of Community Supervision; Detention and Hearing

(b) At any time during the period of community supervision, the judge may issue a warrant for a violation of any condition of community supervision and cause the defendant to be

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arrested. Any supervision officer, police officer, or other officer with the power of arrest may arrest the defendant with or without a warrant on the order of the judge to be noted on the docket of the court. Subject to Subsection (c), a defendant arrested under this subsection may be detained in the county jail or other appropriate place of confinement until the defendant can be taken before the judge for a determination regarding the alleged violation.

(e) A judge may revoke without a hearing the community supervision of a defendant who is imprisoned in a penal institution if the defendant in writing before a court of record or a notary public in the jurisdiction where the defendant is imprisoned

Incarceration All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.652(b) Monthly Reimbursement Fee

The judge may make payment of the monthly fee a condition of granting or continuing the community supervision.

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Gov't Code Sec. 501.014(a),(e)(2),(4)-(6) Inmate Money

(a) The department shall take possession of all money that an inmate has on the inmate’s person or that is received with the inmate when the inmate arrives at a facility

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to be admitted to the custody of the department and all money the inmate receives at the department during confinement and shall credit the money to an account created for the inmate . . .

(e) On notification by a court, the department shall withdraw from an inmate’s account any amount the inmate is ordered to pay by order of the court under this subsection. On receipt of a valid court order requiring an inmate to pay child support, the department shall withdraw the appropriate amount from the inmate’s account under this subsection, regardless of whether the court order is provided by the court or another person. The department shall make a payment under this subsection as ordered by the court to either the court or the party specified in the court order. The department is not liable for withdrawing or failing to withdraw money or making payments or failing to make payments under this subsection. The department shall make withdrawals and payments from an inmate’s account under this subsection according to the following schedule of priorities: . . . (2) as payment in full for all orders for restitution . . . (4) as payment in full for all orders for court fees and costs; (5) as payment in full for all orders for fines; and (6) as payment in full for any other court order, judgment, or writ.

Wage/bank account garnishment All Yes
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.702(a)(2)-(3),(b)-(c) Time Credits for Completion of Certain Conditions of Community Supervision

(a) This article [time credit] applies only to a defendant who: (2) is not delinquent in paying required costs, fines, or fees; and (3) has fully satisfied any order to pay restitution

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to a victim.

(b) A defendant described by Subsection (a) is entitled to receive any combination of time credits toward the completion of the defendant’s period of community supervision in accordance with this article if the court ordered the defendant as a condition of community supervision to: (1) make a payment described by Subsection (c); (2) complete a treatment or rehabilitation program described by Subsection (d); or (3) earn a diploma, certificate, or degree described by Subsection (e).

(c) A defendant is entitled to time credits toward the completion of the defendant’s period of community supervision for the full payment of court costs, fines, attorney’s fees, and restitution.

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 42A.701(b) Reduction or Termination of Community Supervision Period

On completion of one-half of the original community supervision period or two years of community supervision, whichever is more, the judge shall review the defendant's record and consider whether to

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reduce or terminate the period of community supervision, unless the defendant:(1) is delinquent in paying required costs, fines, fees, or restitution that the defendant has the ability to pay.

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 43.09(a)-(e) Fine Discharged

(a) When a defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor and the defendant’s punishment is assessed at a pecuniary fine or is confined in a jail after conviction of a felony for

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which a fine is imposed, if the defendant is unable to pay the fine and costs adjudged against the defendant, the defendant may for such time as will satisfy the judgment be put to work in the county jail industries program, in the workhouse, or on the county farm, or public improvements and maintenance projects of the county or a political subdivision located in whole or in part in the county, as provided in Article 43.10; or if there is no such county jail industries program, workhouse, farm, or improvements and maintenance projects, the defendant shall be confined in jail for a sufficient length of time to discharge the full amount of fine and costs adjudged against the defendant; rating such confinement at $100 for each day and rating such labor at $100 for each day; provided, however, that the defendant may pay the pecuniary fine assessed against the defendant at any time while the defendant is serving at work in the county jail industries program, in the workhouse, or on the county farm, or on the public improvements and maintenance projects of the county or a political subdivision located in whole or in part in the county, or while the defendant is serving the defendant’s jail sentence, and in such instances the defendant is entitled to the credit earned under this subsection during the time that the defendant has served and the defendant shall only be required to pay the balance of the pecuniary fine assessed against the defendant. A defendant who performs labor under this article during a day in which the defendant is confined is entitled to both the credit for confinement and the credit for labor provided by this article.

(b) In its discretion, the court may order that for each day’s confinement served by a defendant under this article, the defendant receive credit toward payment of the pecuniary fine and credit toward payment of costs adjudged against the defendant. Additionally, the court may order that the defendant receive credit under this article for each day’s confinement served by the defendant as punishment for the offense.

(c) In its discretion, the court may order that a defendant serving concurrent, but not consecutive, sentences for two or more misdemeanors may, for each day served, receive credit toward the satisfaction of costs and fines imposed for each separate offense.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, in its discretion, the court or the sheriff of the county may grant an additional two days credit for each day served to any inmate participating in an approved work program under this article or a rehabilitation, restitution, or education program.

(e) A court in a county that operates an electronic monitoring program or contracts with a private vendor to operate an electronic monitoring program under Section 351.904, Local Government Code, or that is served by a community supervision and corrections department that operates an electronic monitoring program approved by the community justice assistance division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, may require a defendant who is unable to pay a fine or costs to discharge all or part of the fine or costs by participating in the program. A defendant who participates in an electronic monitoring program under this subsection discharges fines and costs in the same manner as if the defendant were confined in county jail.

Work program/jail industry program Misdemeanor No
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Texas Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 706.002 Denial of renewal of driver's license

A political subdivision may contract with the department to provide information necessary for the department to deny renewal of the driver’s license of a person who fails to appear for

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a complaint or citation or fails to pay or satisfy a judgment ordering payment of a fine and cost in the manner ordered by the court in a matter involving any offense that a court has jurisdiction of under Chapter 4, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Driver's license suspension/impoundment All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 103.0033; 1 Tex. Admin. Code § 175.1 Payment plans arise locally from Texas's Collection Improvement Plan

(a)  The purpose of this chapter is to provide notice to counties and municipalities that are subject to Article 103.0033 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the scope and components

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of the Collection Improvement Program (CIP) model developed by the Office of Court Administration pursuant to Article 103.0033 and the standards that will be used to determine whether a county or municipality is complying with the CIP requirements.

(c)  The CIP is designed to improve the enforcement of a defendant's compliance with the payment of costs, fees, and fines that have been ordered by a court, without imposing an undue hardship on the defendant or the defendant's dependents. The CIP components should not be interpreted to conflict with or undermine the provision to defendants of full procedural and substantive rights under the constitution and laws of this state and of the United States.

(e)  The CIP applies to criminal cases in which the defendant is ordered to pay costs, fees, and fines under a payment plan.

All No
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Texas Tex. Gov't Code Sec. 21.002(a)-(c) Contempt of Court

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (g), a court may punish for contempt.

(b) The punishment for contempt of a court other than a justice court or municipal court is a fine of

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not more than $500 or confinement in the county jail for not more than six months, or both such a fine and confinement in jail.

(c) The punishment for contempt of a justice court or municipal court is a fine of not more than $100 or confinement in the county or city jail for not more than three days, or both such a fine and confinement in jail.

Incarceration, Increased fine All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 43.03(a) Payment of Fine

If a defendant is sentenced to pay a fine or costs or both and the defendant defaults in payment, the court after a hearing under Subsection (d) of this article

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may order the defendant confined in jail until discharged as provided by law, may order the defendant to discharge the fines and costs in any other manner provided by Article 43.09 of this code, or may waive payment of the fines and costs as provided by Article 43.091. A certified copy of the judgment, sentence, and order is sufficient to authorize confinement under this subsection

Incarceration All No
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Texas Tex. Gov't. Code § 76.017(e) Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Program

(e) A department may contract for the provision of treatment services. The department may pay for services only if other adequate public or private sources of payment are not available.

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A person is responsible for the payment of any treatment program recommended under this section if it is determined that a person referred for treatment is able to pay for the costs of treatment or if the person has insurance that will pay for the treatment. If a person is able to pay for treatment or if the person has insurance that will pay for the treatment, the payment may be made a condition for receiving treatment.

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Gov't. Code § 103.021 Additional Fees and Costs in Criminal or Civil Cases: Code of Criminal Procedure

An accused or defendant, or a party to a civil suit, as applicable, shall pay the following fees and costs under the Code of Criminal Procedure if ordered by the

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court or otherwise required:
(2) cost of electronic monitoring as a condition of release on personal bond (Art. 17.43, Code of Criminal Procedure) ... actual cost;
(3-a) costs associated with operating a global positioning monitoring system as a condition of release on bond (Art. 17.49(b)(2), Code of Criminal Procedure) ... actual costs, subject to a determination of indigency;
(5) reimbursement to general revenue fund for payments made to victim of an offense as condition of community supervision (Art. 42A.301(17), Code of Criminal Procedure) ... not to exceed $50 for a misdemeanor offense or $100 for a felony offense;
(10) additional community supervision fee for certain offenses (Art. 42A.653(a), Code of Criminal Procedure) ... $5 per month;

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 17.43(b) Home curfew and electronic monitoring as condition

(b) Cost of monitoring may be assessed as reimbursement fees or ordered paid directly by the defendant as a condition of bond.

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 17.44(c),(e) Home confinement, electronic monitoring, and drug testing as condition

(c) The magistrate may revoke the bond and order the defendant arrested if the defendant: (1) violates a condition of home confinement and electronic monitoring; (3) fails to pay the

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reimbursement fee for monitoring or testing for controlled substances, if payment is ordered under Subsection (e) as a condition of bond and the magistrate determines that the defendant is not indigent and is financially able to make the payments as ordered.
(e) The cost of electronic monitoring or testing for controlled substances under this article may be assessed as a reimbursement fee or ordered paid directly by the defendant as a condition of bond.

Condition or extension of supervision All No
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Texas Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Art. 17.441(d) Conditions requiring motor vehicle ignition interlock

(d) The magistrate may designate an appropriate agency to verify the installation of the device and to monitor the device. If the magistrate designates an agency under this subsection, in

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each month during which the agency verifies the installation of the device or provides a monitoring service the defendant shall pay a fee to the designated agency in the amount set by the magistrate. The defendant shall pay the initial fee at the time the agency verifies the installation of the device. In each subsequent month during which the defendant is required to pay a fee the defendant shall pay the fee on the first occasion in that month that the agency provides a monitoring service. The magistrate shall set the fee in an amount not to exceed $10 as determined by the county auditor, or by the commissioners court of the county if the county does not have a county auditor, to be sufficient to cover the cost incurred by the designated agency in conducting the verification or providing the monitoring service, as applicable in that county.

Condition or extension of supervision All No