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NCJ Number: 68830 Find in a Library
Title: FINE AND/OR IMPRISONMENT - PAUPER'S DILEMMA OR DELIGHT?
Journal: ARKANSAS LAW REVIEW  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:(SUMMER 1979)  Pages:378-393
Author(s): W R WADE
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 21
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE TIME AND METHOD OF PAYMENT OF FINES FOR CRIMINAL OFFENDERS, THE CONSEQUENCES OF NONPAYMENT, THE MANNER OF COLLECTING FINES, AND THE ARKANSAS SYSTEM OF COLLECTING AND IMPOSING FINES ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH THE IMPOSITION OF FINES FOR CRIMINAL OFFENSES HAS OFTEN BEEN CRITICIZED AS PUNISHING THE FAMILY OF A DEFENDANT MORE THAN THE DEFENDANT AND FOR HAVING LITTLE REHABILITATIVE OR DETERRENT POTENTIAL, DRAFTERS OF THE 1975 REVISION OF THE ARKANSAS CRIMINAL CODE STATED THAT 'A FINE IS OCCASIONALLY THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO DEAL WITH THE PARTICULAR OFFENDER.' THE CODE PROVIDES FOR THE IMPOSITION OF FINES FOR ALL DEFINED OFFENSES. THE IMPOSITION OF FINES HAS A LONG HISTORY OF JUDICIAL AND LEGISLATIVE ACCEPTANCE; HOWEVER, RECENT UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT DECISIONS, AS IN 'TATE V. SHORT' (1971), HAVE TENDED TO RESTRICT SUCH PRACTICE WHERE INDIGENT DEFENDANTS ARE INVOLVED. ARKANSAS' REACTION TO THE COURT'S PRONOUNCMENTS HAS BEEN TO STATUTORILY IMPLEMENT PROCEDURES IN WHICH AN INDIGENT MAY ONLY BE IMPRISONED FOR NONPAYMENT OF A FINE WHEN HE OR SHE IS CONTUMACIOUS. ALTHOUGH THE PROCEDURE PERMITS THE TRIAL COURT TO ESTABLISH INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS AS A MEANS FOR MAKING IT EASIER FOR THE DEFENDANT TO PAY, WHERE DEFAULT IS NOT CONTUMACIOUS AND NO SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT HAS BEEN IMPOSED PREVIOUSLY THE DEFENDANT MUST BE RELEASED. STATUTORY PROVISIONS FOR COLLECTION OF FINES THROUGH CIVIL METHODS DO NOT ASSIST IN THIS SITUATION BECAUSE THE INDIGENT WILL HAVE NO PROPERTY UPON WHICH LEVY MAY BE HAD. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE ARKANSAS GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHOULD AMEND THE CODE TO FOLLOW THE NEW JERSEY APPROACH, WHICH PROVIDES THE TRIAL JUDGE DISCRETION TO REVIEW, UPON DEFENDANT DEFAULT, WHETHER THE DEFENDANT MAY BE REACHED IN SOME OTHER WAY TO ACHIEVE THE REQUIRED PUNITIVE AIM. THIS METHOD ALLOWS THE COURT TO TREAT THE OFFENDER ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS WITHOUT RENDERING THE STATE POWERLESS TO ENFORCE JUDGMENT AGAINST THOSE WHO ARE FINANCIALLY UNABLE TO PAY. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Arkansas; Criminal codes; Fines; Incarceration; Indigents; Judicial process; State laws; US Supreme Court
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68830

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