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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Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. § 8-2110 Failure to comply with traffic citation; misdemeanor; suspension of driver's license; restricted driving privileges; fees for mailing notice; reinstatement fee; authorized only by legislative enactment; disposition of reinstatement fees
When a person fails to comply with a traffic citation, except for illegal parking, standing or stopping, the district or municipal court in which the person should have complied with
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the citation shall mail notice to the person that if the person does not appear in district or municipal court or pay all fines, court costs and any penalties within 30 days from the date of mailing notice, the division of vehicles will be notified to suspend the person's driving privileges. The district or municipal court may charge an additional fee of $5 for mailing such notice.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment Misdemeanor Yes
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New York N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1199(4) License Suspension
4. If a person shall fail to pay any driver responsibility assessment as provided in this section, the commissioner shall suspend such person's driver's license or privilege of obtaining a
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license. Such suspension shall remain in effect until any and all outstanding driver responsibility assessments have been paid in full.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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New York N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 1194(2) License Suspension No new driver's license or permit shall be issued, or non-resident operating privilege restored to such person unless such penalty has been paid. Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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New York N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 503 License Suspension
(d) If a person shall fail to pay any driver responsibility assessment as provided in this subdivision, the commissioner shall suspend such person's driver's license or privilege of obtaining a
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license. Such suspension shall remain in effect until any and all outstanding driver responsibility assessments have been paid in full.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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Ohio Ohio Rev. Code § 1907.25(B) Blocking of motor vehicle registration or transfer or registration for failure to pay fine or costs
If a person is charged with an offense in county court and either fails to appear in court at the required time and place to answer the charge or pleads
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guilty to or is found guilty of the offense and fails within the time allowed by the court to pay any fine or costs imposed by the court, the court may enter information relative to the person's failure to pay any outstanding amount of the fine or costs on a form prescribed or approved by the registrar of motor vehicles pursuant to division (C) of this section and send the form to the registrar. Upon receipt of the form, the registrar shall take any measures necessary to ensure that neither the registrar nor any deputy registrar accepts any application for the registration or transfer of registration of any motor vehicle owned or leased by the person. However, for a motor vehicle leased by the person, the registrar shall not implement this requirement until the registrar adopts procedures for that implementation under section 4503.39 of the Revised Code. The period of denial relating to the issuance or transfer of a certificate of registration for a motor vehicle imposed under this section remains in effect until the person pays any fine or costs imposed by the court relative to the offense. When the fine or costs have been paid in full, the court shall inform the registrar of the payment by entering information relative to the payment on a notice of payment form prescribed or approved by the registrar pursuant to division (C) of this section and sending the form to the registrar.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All No
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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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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. § 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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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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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
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Maryland Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 26-207(a) Revocation of Commercial License
If a person holding a commercial driver's license fails to comply with a notice to appear in court or a notice for failure to pay a fine for a traffic
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citation issued to the person under the laws or regulations of another state, and the other state's driver licensing authority notified the Administration of the noncompliance, on receipt of the notice of noncompliance and after giving the person 10 days' written notice, the Administration shall suspend the driving privileges of the person until receipt of a notice of compliance from the other state.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All No
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Maryland Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 27-103(a) Revocation of License
If a person fined under the Maryland Vehicle Law1 or under any federal traffic law or regulation for a violation occurring in Maryland does not pay the fine in accordance
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with the court's directive: (1) The court may so certify to the Administration; and (2) On such certification, after giving the person 10 days advance written notice, the Administration may suspend the driving privileges or license of the person until the fine has been paid.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All No
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New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:46-2 Consequences of Nonpayment
When a defendant sentenced to pay an assessment imposed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1979, c. 396 (C.2C:43-3.1), a penalty imposed pursuant to section 11 of P.L.2001, c. 81 (C.2C:43-3.6),
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a penalty imposed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c. 73 (C.2C:14-10), monthly probation fee, fine, a penalty imposed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1999, c. 295 (C.2C:43-3.5), other court-imposed financial obligations or to make restitution or pay child support or other support or maintenance ordered by a court defaults in the payment thereof or of any installment, upon the motion of the person authorized by law to collect the payment, the motion of the prosecutor, the motion of the victim entitled to payment of restitution, the motion of the Victims of Crime Compensation Office, the motion of the State or county Office of Victim and Witness Advocacy or upon its own motion, the court shall recall him, or issue a summons or a warrant of arrest for his appearance. The court shall afford the person notice and an opportunity to be heard on the issue of default. Failure to make any payment when due shall be considered a default. The standard of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence, and the burden of establishing good cause for a default shall be on the person who has defaulted. (1) If the court finds that the person has defaulted without good cause, the court shall: (a) Order the suspension of the driver's license or the nonresident reciprocity driving privilege of the person
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:46-2 Consequences of Nonpayment
When a defendant sentenced to pay an assessment imposed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1979, c. 396 (C.2C:43-3.1), a penalty imposed pursuant to section 11 of P.L.2001, c. 81 (C.2C:43-3.6),
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a penalty imposed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c. 73 (C.2C:14-10), monthly probation fee, fine, a penalty imposed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1999, c. 295 (C.2C:43-3.5), other court-imposed financial obligations or to make restitution or pay child support or other support or maintenance ordered by a court defaults in the payment thereof or of any installment, upon the motion of the person authorized by law to collect the payment, the motion of the prosecutor, the motion of the victim entitled to payment of restitution, the motion of the Victims of Crime Compensation Office, the motion of the State or county Office of Victim and Witness Advocacy or upon its own motion, the court shall recall him, or issue a summons or a warrant of arrest for his appearance. The court shall afford the person notice and an opportunity to be heard on the issue of default. Failure to make any payment when due shall be considered a default. The standard of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence, and the burden of establishing good cause for a default shall be on the person who has defaulted. (1) If the court finds that the person has defaulted without good cause, the court shall: (a) Order the suspension of the driver's license or the nonresident reciprocity driving privilege of the person
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:46-2 Consequences of Nonpayment
When a defendant sentenced to pay an assessment imposed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1979, c. 396 (C.2C:43-3.1), a penalty imposed pursuant to section 11 of P.L.2001, c. 81 (C.2C:43-3.6),
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a penalty imposed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2005, c. 73 (C.2C:14-10), monthly probation fee, fine, a penalty imposed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1999, c. 295 (C.2C:43-3.5), other court-imposed financial obligations or to make restitution or pay child support or other support or maintenance ordered by a court defaults in the payment thereof or of any installment, upon the motion of the person authorized by law to collect the payment, the motion of the prosecutor, the motion of the victim entitled to payment of restitution, the motion of the Victims of Crime Compensation Office, the motion of the State or county Office of Victim and Witness Advocacy or upon its own motion, the court shall recall him, or issue a summons or a warrant of arrest for his appearance. The court shall afford the person notice and an opportunity to be heard on the issue of default. Failure to make any payment when due shall be considered a default. The standard of proof shall be by a preponderance of the evidence, and the burden of establishing good cause for a default shall be on the person who has defaulted. (1) If the court finds that the person has defaulted without good cause, the court shall: (a) Order the suspension of the driver's license or the nonresident reciprocity driving privilege of the person
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 53.1-127.4 Driver's license suspension
No suspension of driving privileges shall be issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for failure or refusal to provide for immediate payment in full of fees imposed under §
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53.1-131.3 or for failure to make payments under a deferred or installment payment agreement unless the sheriff or jail superintendent has (i) entered into an agreement with the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-320.2, (ii) has obtained a judgment and court order for suspension or nonrenewal issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, and (iii) has provided to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles electronic notice of such judgment or default and court order and the person's most current mailing address. The provisions of this section shall apply to all unpaid fees imposed under § 53.1-131.3 provided the sheriff or jail administrator or other entity under a contract pursuant to § 53.1-127.5 informs the person who owes the fees and receives signed certification of understanding at the time the deferred or installment payment agreement is entered into that upon failure or refusal to pay in accordance with the payment agreement the person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended pursuant to the provisions of § 46.2-320.2.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-395. Suspension of license for failure or refusal to pay fines or costs
B. In addition to any penalty provided by law and subject to the limitations on collection under §§ 19.2-340 and 19.2-341, when any person is convicted of any violation of
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the law of the Commonwealth or of the United States or of any valid local ordinance and fails or refuses to provide for immediate payment in full of any fine, costs, forfeitures, restitution, or penalty lawfully assessed against him, or fails to make deferred payments or installment payments as ordered by the court, the court shall forthwith suspend the person's privilege to drive a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth. The driver's license of the person shall continue suspended until the fine, costs, forfeiture, restitution, or penalty has been paid in full.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes
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New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 17:29A-35 Motor vehicle violations surcharges for private passenger automobiles
If, upon written notification from the commission or its designee, mailed to the last address of record with the commission, a driver fails to pay a surcharge levied under this section and
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collectible by the commission, the driving privilege of the driver shall be suspended forthwith until at least five percent of each outstanding surcharge assessment that has resulted in suspension is paid to the commission; except that the commission may authorize payment of the surcharge on an installment basis over a period of 12 months for assessments under $2,300 or 24 months for assessments of $2,300 or more. The commission, for good cause, may authorize payment of any surcharge on an installment basis over a period not to exceed 36 months. If a driver fails to pay the surcharge or any installments on the surcharge, the total surcharge shall become due immediately, except as otherwise prescribed by rule of the commission.
Driver's license suspension/impoundment All Yes