Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1077 Collaborative court program incentives.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) It is sound public policy to remove financial and legal barriers that prevent Californians from reentering and reintegrating into their communities where those individuals participate in rehabilitative programming as part of a deferred entry of judgment or diversion program.
(b) The adoption of collaborative court programs by several counties, including drug courts, veterans courts, mental health courts, and homeless courts, has allowed eligible defendants to plead into intensive rehabilitation programs monitored by the county in lieu of serving jail or prison sentences.
(c) Upon successful completion of a diversion program, a defendant is substantially less likely to recidivate.
(d) Recognizing the benefit of these programs, the Legislature finds and declares that it is sound public policy to incentivize eligible defendants to participate in collaborative court programs by reducing the burdens of existing debt to assist the defendant’s reintegration into society.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 994) is added to Title 6 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, to read:

CHAPTER  1.5. Collaborative Court Incentives
994.
 (a) At the time a defendant enters a collaborative court program, the court shall waive all penalties assessed over the base fine for current and prior violations eligible under this section, except for the assessment pursuant to Section 76104.6 of the Government Code.
(b) (1) The court shall suspend all remaining fines pending successful completion of the collaborative court program.
(2) The court may determine how a defendant will satisfy the remaining suspended fines by any of the following methods:
(A) Installment plan.
(B) Community service in lieu of payment.
(C) Complete or partial waiver of the fine.
(D) An alternative disposition the court determines is fair given the circumstances.
(c) A defendant is eligible for relief under this section if the defendant meets all of the following criteria:
(1) The defendant has unpaid fines related to nonfelony violations of the Vehicle Code or other misdemeanors or infractions.
(2) At the time of sentencing, the defendant is indigent. “Indigent” means a defendant who either meets the requirements of Section 68632 of the Government Code.
(3) Whether a defendant is indigent may be demonstrated by any of the following:
(A) Proof of income from a pay stub or another form of proof of earnings that demonstrate the defendant meets the definition of indigent.
(B) Proof of the receipt of benefits under programs described in Section 68632 of the Government Code.
(d) This section does not authorize the waiver, reduction, or alternate discharge of an imposed restitution order payable to the victim of a crime.
994.1.
 A defendant who is removed from a collaborative court program prior to completing the program and for whom the prosecution proceeds or sentencing is imposed, shall no longer be eligible for the benefits of this chapter and all previously waived or suspended fines shall be reinstated, except for the fines discharged pursuant to the terms of this chapter.
994.2.
 This chapter does not limit the discretion of a judicial officer to suspend or reduce fines and fees when appropriate or to dismiss actions in the interest of justice pursuant to Section 1385 of the Penal Code or any other law.