Changes to the Nevada Criminal Laws – Fines and Fees
Under a sweeping set of new laws passed by the 2019 Nevada Legislature, criminal justice and procedures have been overhauled, with an objective to reducing the population of Nevada prisons of non-violent offenders, and changing penalties for certain non-violent crimes; with changes to the penalty system of Nevada criminal law, to focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. This article continues our series on changes to criminal law in the state.
The legislature passed and the governor signed into law Assembly Bill 416 (AB416), which addresses how and when the state collects fines, assessments, fees, and restitution for various crimes in the state. The new law takes effect October 1, 2019.
Review of current law
Existing law authorizes courts to impose financial penalties to those found guilty of violating criminal laws, which include fines, administrative assessments, fees, and restitution. It allows courts and state agencies to impose collection fees for delinquency is such cases. Courts may also, under existing law: 1. Enter a civil judgement for unpaid fines and fees, 2. Request the prosecuting attorney to collect the unpaid fines or fees through attachment of property or garnishment of wages, 3. Order suspension of driver’s licenses or prohibiting the defendant from applying for a license for a specified period, and 4. Order the confinement of the person to a jail or detention facility for failure to pay such fines and fees.
AB416 Changes to existing law
State and Local Agencies responsible to collect such fines, administrative assessments, fees, and restitution, may no longer report delinquent fees and assessments to credit reporting agencies. Furthermore, Prosecuting Attorneys may no longer act to collect the delinquent amounts.
Under the new law, courts may order the Suspension of Driver’s Licenses only if the court determines that: 1. the defendant has the ability to pay the amount due and is willfully avoiding payment, or 2. The defendant was indigent and was given the opportunity to perform community service to satisfy the debt, but has failed to perform the required service.
The new law also makes fines, assessments and fees for minor traffic accidents uncollectable after eight years.
Courts are authorized except when statute makes penalties mandatory, to order the defendant to perform community service instead of paying fines, administrative assessments or fees or imprisonment for misdemeanors. Courts are also authorized to offer community service as a condition of probation for Gross Misdemeanors and Felonies. Community service hours not more than of 200 hours for a Misdemeanor, 600 hours for a Gross Misdemeanor, or 1000 hours for a felony are to be scheduled over weekends or other times that allow the defendant to continue employment of care for family.
The Defenders will represent you if charged for a criminal act
The 2019 Nevada Legislative Session has concluded. Many changes to criminal laws of Nevada were passed and signed into law during this session. Our lawyers are keeping up to date with the changes. Our lawyers have the experience, knowledge of the law, and will aggressively protect your rights under the law. If you’ve been charges for a violation of criminal law, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.