In September 2020, California became the first state in the nation to eliminate the onerous fees that accompany a trip through the criminal legal system.
The new law, AB 1869, takes effect July 1, 2021 and it will have immediate impact in two major ways.
First, the law will stop courts from being able to charge certain fees to criminal defendants. These fees are:
- County and city arrest and jail booking fees (Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 29550.2, 29550.3)
- Administrative fee associated with arrest (Cal. Gov't Code §§ 29550(c), 29550.1)
- Administrative screening fee for those arrested, OR, upon conviction (Cal. Gov't Code § 29550(f))
- Registration of counsel fee (Cal. Penal Code § 987.5)
- All cost of counsel fees (Cal. Penal Code § 987.8)
- Cost of counsel fees for minors in criminal court (Cal. Penal Code § 987.4)
- Interstate compact supervision fee (Cal. Penal Code § 1203)
- Home detention fee (Cal. Penal Code § 1203.016)
- Electronic monitoring fee in lieu of bail or jail, as probation condition, or supervision for parolees (Cal. Penal Code §§ 1203.018, 1210.15, 3010.08)
- Probation supervision, investigation report, or jurisdictional transfer fees (Cal. Penal Code § 1203.1)
- Installment processing fee (Cal. Penal Code § 1203.1b)
- Parole supervision fee (Cal. Penal Code § 1203.1e)
- Work furlough administration fee (Cal. Penal Code § 1208.2)
- Work furlough, home detention, county parole fee (Cal. Penal Code § 1208.2)
- Work furlough program fee (Cal. Penal Code § 6266)
- Voluntary work release program fee (Cal. Penal Code § 4024.2)
Second, it eliminates the requirement to pay these fees even if they were previously assessed. That effectively ends the collections process on these outstanding fees, and discharges the debt obligation to pay any outstanding fees of this kind.
This is great news, but it is important to keep in mind that this new law applies only to the fees noted above. It does not eliminate all fees or fines, nor does it discharge someone from having to pay restitution.
If you have been charged with a crime, contact the Law Office of Peter James Chambers today for a free consultation. Like a chess player, Mr. Chambers thinks several steps ahead before he makes his move. This future-focused approach helps save his client time and money. Contact us today and get foresight on your side.