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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2022 12:03 PM
From: Representative Carol Hill-Evans
To: All House members
Subject: Capping Costs and Fees for Defendants Granted Probation Without Verdict
A diversionary program for first-time, non-violent misdemeanor drug offenders, Probation Without Verdict provides the opportunity for individuals convicted of a first time, nonviolent misdemeanor drug offense to avoid a permanent conviction on their record, jail term, and license suspension by allowing these individuals to undergo a period of probation.  As long as this probation is completed, those charges are then dismissed and their record able to be expunged.  However, this probationary process comes with a cost that makes it unreachable and prohibitive for our lower-income constituents – all fines and court costs must be paid in full in order to complete it.
My legislation would place a $300 cap on the fines and court costs that an individual granted Probation Without Verdict would be responsible for paying as part of their probation.  This would remove a massive financial barrier to pursuing the program and would give more eligible individuals 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 important program more accessible to our low-income constituents.  Please join me in supporting the rehabilitation of Pennsylvanians and improving the fairness of our criminal justice system.

Introduced as HB233