|Posted:||December 29, 2020 10:07 AM|
|From:||Representative Carol Hill-Evans|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Capping Costs and Fees for Defendants Granted Probation Without Verdict|
|Probation Without Verdict is a diversionary program for first-time, non-violent misdemeanor drug offenders that provides the opportunity to avoid a permanent conviction on their record, jail time, and license suspension by undergoing a period of probation. So long as the probation is completed the charges will be dismissed, and the person’s record will be able to be expunged. However, one of the requirements for completing this probationary process is to pay off all fines and court costs that the individual has accrued which can frequently become prohibitively expensive, defeating the purpose of this program.
I intend to introduce legislation that would place a $300 cap on the fines and court costs that an individual granted Probation Without Verdict would be responsible for paying as a part of their probation. This would remove a massive financial barrier to pursuing Probation Without Verdict and would give more eligible offenders the chance to take advantage of this beneficial program.
As legislators, we must look out for the well-being and growth of every Pennsylvanian. One way to do so would be by making this program more accessible to our low-income citizens. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB693