CCRP 875.1     

NOTE: Art. 875.1 as enacted by Acts 2017, No. 260, §1, effective August 1, 2018.

Art. 875.1. Determination of substantial financial hardship to the defendant

            A. The purpose of imposing financial obligations on an offender who is convicted of a criminal offense is to hold the offender accountable for his action, to compensate victims for any actual pecuniary loss or costs incurred in connection with a criminal prosecution, to defray the cost of court operations, and to provide services to offenders and victims. These financial obligations should not create a barrier to the offender's successful rehabilitation and reentry into society. Financial obligations in excess of what an offender can reasonably pay undermine the primary purpose of the justice system which is to deter criminal behavior and encourage compliance with the law. Financial obligations that cause undue hardship on the offender should be waived, modified, or forgiven. Creating a payment plan for the offender that is based upon the ability to pay, results in financial obligations that the offender is able to comply with and often results in more money collected. Offenders who are consistent in their payments and in good faith try to fulfill their financial obligations should be rewarded for their efforts.

            B. For purposes of this Article, "financial obligations" shall include any fine, fee, cost, restitution, or other monetary obligation authorized by this Code or by the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 and imposed upon the defendant as part of a criminal sentence, incarceration, or as a condition of the defendant's release on probation or parole.

            C.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, prior to ordering the imposition or enforcement of any financial obligations as defined by this Article, the court shall determine whether payment in full of the aggregate amount of all the financial obligations to be imposed upon the defendant would cause substantial financial hardship to the defendant or his dependents.

            (2) The defendant may not waive the judicial determination of a substantial financial hardship required by the provisions of this Paragraph.

            D.(1) If the court determines that payment in full of the aggregate amount of all financial obligations imposed upon the defendant would cause substantial financial hardship to the defendant or his dependents, the court shall do either of the following:

            (a) Waive all or any portion of the financial obligations.

            (b) Order a payment plan that requires the defendant to make a monthly payment to fulfill the financial obligations.

            (2)(a) The amount of each monthly payment for the payment plan ordered pursuant to the provisions of Subsubparagraph (1)(b) of this Paragraph shall be equal to the defendant's average gross daily income for an eight-hour work day.

            (b) If the court has ordered restitution, half of the defendant's monthly payment shall be distributed toward the defendant's restitution obligation.

            (c) During any periods of unemployment, homelessness, or other circumstances in which the defendant is unable to make the monthly payment, the court or the defendant's probation and parole officer is authorized to impose a payment alternative, including but not limited to any of the following: substance abuse treatment, education, job training, or community service.

            (3) If, after the initial determination of the defendant's ability to fulfill his financial obligations, the defendant's circumstances and ability to pay his financial obligations change, the defendant or his attorney may file a motion with the court to reevaluate the defendant's circumstances and determine, in the same manner as the initial determination, whether under the defendant's current circumstances payment in full of the aggregate amount of all the financial obligations imposed upon the defendant would cause substantial financial hardship to the defendant or his dependents. Upon such motion, if the court determines that the defendant's current circumstances would cause substantial financial hardship to the defendant or his dependents, the court may either waive or modify the defendant's financial obligation, or recalculate the amount of the monthly payment made by the defendant under the payment plan set forth in Subsubparagraph (1)(b) of this Paragraph.

            E. If a defendant is ordered to make monthly payments under a payment plan established pursuant to the provisions of Subsubparagraph (D)(1)(b) of this Article, the defendant's outstanding financial obligations resulting from his criminal conviction are forgiven and considered paid-in-full if the defendant makes consistent monthly payments for either twelve consecutive months or consistent monthly payments for half of the defendant's term of supervision, whichever is longer.

            F. The provisions of this Article shall apply only to defendants convicted of offenses classified as felonies under applicable law.

            Repealed by Acts 1995, No. 942, §3; Acts 2017, No. 260, §1, eff. August 1, 2018.