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Examining the problem of fines and fees when a person is poor

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Living can become a struggle if you lose your job in Colorado and find it challenging to pay for housing. Unfortunately, your problems can worsen if you try living in your car when this act is illegal. Your financial struggles may spiral into a deeper hole if you get arrested and can’t pay bail. Examining the challenges of being poor is the only way to discover a solution.

Laws affecting poor people

You may try sleeping in your vehicle or public areas when you become homeless. When these acts are deemed illegal, it can lead to jail time and the pursuit for criminal defense.

Can’t pay cash bail

If you’re accused of committing a crime and can’t pay cash bail, it increases the odds of losing your job, custody of your children and housing. Being penalized due to your lack of funds may be seen as unfair when comparing your situation to an individual who has the money to pay cash bail and can be released immediately to wait for their day in court.

Failing to pay fees can be detrimental to poor individuals

After you accumulate fees and fines as a poor person, it can be challenging to pay them. When these monetary punishments are given to you, the amount you have to pay can escalate quickly, equaling hundreds or thousands of dollars. Examples of these fees and fines can include the following:

• Jail booking and boarding fees

• Court-appointed attorney fees

• Drug testing fees

• Traffic violation fines

You may have your driver’s license suspended or be jailed if you don’t pay the fees and fines you owe. These penalties can make life worse as commuting to work becomes more challenging, exacerbating the problem of paying off your debts.

The current process of penalizing you for infractions related to homelessness can make it more difficult to find work and housing. A solution needs to be found that provides affordable housing and doesn’t stop you from getting a job when fined.

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