Colorado Rights Blog

HB14-1061: Eliminate Prison for Inability to Pay Fines

Criminal Justice | End Debtors' Prisons
Bill Number: HB14-1061
Year: 2014
ACLU Position: Active Support
Sponsors: Salazar, Guzman


Current law provides that part of a criminal sentence must include a sentence to prison if an individual criminal defendant fails to pay a fine. The bill changes this requirement so that the sentence must include notice that if a defendant willfully fails to pay a fine, cost, restitution, or other monetary payment (monetary payment), the court may hold the person in contempt of court and sentence the person to prison. The bill provides that when the court imposes a monetary payment as part of the sentence, the court must notify the defendant that if he or she is unable to pay the amount ordered, the defendant may ask the court for a waiver or change in the payment. The bill establishes procedures for when a criminal defendant may be held in contempt of court for willful failure to make a monetary payment.

Current Status:

04/28/2014 - Sent to the Governor
04/23/2014 - Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
04/16/2014 - Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Unamended to Senate Committee of the Whole
04/08/2014 - Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary
02/25/2014 - House Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Appropriations
01/08/2014 - Introduced In House - Assigned to Judiciary

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