V C Section 42003 Payment of Fines and Court and Other Costs

Payment of Fines and Court and Other Costs

42003.  (a) A judgment that a person convicted of an infraction be punished by a fine may also provide for the payment to be made within a specified time or in specified installments. A judgment granting a defendant time to pay the fine shall order that if the defendant fails to pay the fine or any installment thereof on the date that it is due, he or she shall appear in court on that date for further proceedings. Willful violation of the order is punishable as contempt.

(b) A judgment that a person convicted of any other violation of this code be punished by a fine may also order, adjudge, and decree that the person be imprisoned until the fine is satisfied. In all of these cases, the judgment shall specify the extent of the imprisonment which shall not exceed one day for every thirty dollars ($30) of the fine, nor extend in this case beyond the term for which the defendant might be sentenced to imprisonment for the offense of which he or she was convicted.

(c) In any case when a person appears before a traffic referee or judge of the superior court for adjudication of a violation of this code, the court, upon request of the defendant, shall consider the defendant's ability to pay. Consideration of a defendant's ability to pay may include his or her future earning capacity. A defendant shall bear the burden of demonstrating lack of his or her ability to pay. Express findings by the court as to the factors bearing on the amount of the fine shall not be required. The reasonable cost of these services and of probation shall not exceed the amount determined to be the actual average cost thereof. The court shall order the defendant to appear before a county officer designated by the court to make an inquiry into the ability of the defendant to pay all or a portion of those costs or the court or traffic referee may make this determination at a hearing. At that hearing, the defendant shall be entitled to have, but shall not be limited to, the opportunity to be heard in person, to present witnesses and other documentary evidence, to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, to disclosure of the evidence against him or her, and to a written statement of the findings of the court or the county officer. If the court determines that the defendant has the ability to pay all or part of the costs, the court shall set the amount to be reimbursed and order the defendant to pay that sum to the county in the manner in which the court believes reasonable and compatible with the defendant's financial ability; or, with the consent of a defendant who is placed on probation, the court shall order the probation officer to set the amount of payment, which shall not exceed the maximum amount set by the court, and the manner in which the payment shall be made to the county. In making a determination of whether a defendant has the ability to pay, the court shall take into account the amount of any fine imposed upon the defendant and any amount the defendant has been ordered to pay in restitution.

The court may hold additional hearings during the probationary period. If practicable, the court or the probation officer shall order payments to be made on a monthly basis. Execution may be issued on the order in the same manner as a judgment in a civil action. The order to pay all or part of the costs shall not be enforced by contempt.

A payment schedule for reimbursement of the costs of presentence investigation based on income shall be developed by the probation department of each county and approved by the presiding judge of the superior court.

(d) The term "ability to pay" means the overall capability of the defendant to reimburse the costs, or a portion of the costs, of conducting the presentence investigation, preparing the presentence report, and probation, and includes, but is not limited to, all of the following regarding the defendant:

(1) Present financial position.

(2) Reasonably discernible future financial position. In no event shall the court consider a period of more than six months from the date of the hearing for purposes of determining reasonably discernible future financial position.

(3) Likelihood that the defendant will be able to obtain employment within the six-month period from the date of the hearing.

(4) Any other factors that may bear upon the defendant's financial capability to reimburse the county for the costs.

(e) At any time during the pendency of the judgment rendered according to the terms of this section, a defendant against whom a judgment has been rendered may petition the rendering court to modify or vacate its previous judgment on the grounds of a change of circumstances with regard to the defendant's ability to pay the judgment. The court shall advise the defendant of this right at the time of rendering of the judgment.

Amended Ch. 674, Stats. 1993. Effective January 1, 1994.
Amended Sec. 30, Ch. 1077, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997. Supersedes Sec. 149, Ch. 124
Amended Sec. 605, Ch. 784, Stats. 2002. Effective January 1, 2003.