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Are Defendants Paying Too Much In Court Fees?

OPB | Feb. 25, 2014 12:06 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 25, 2014 3:28 p.m.

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

Defendants found guilty in criminal cases in Clark County, Washington are paying far more for their court fees than their peers around the state, an American Civil Liberties report finds. A defendant in Clark County will pay around $2,000 in fees and fines for a single case in Clark County — nearly twice the norm in other counties. The costs are accrued for things like using a public defender, having a jury trial, and issuing warrants.

The report has been questioned by some in Washington’s justice system, but the issue is being taken seriously by lawmakers. A bill was introduced this legislative session, and though it has stalled, it is expected to come back in next year’s session.



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