HB 248: Compensatory Service in Lieu of a Fine
This bill passed the Senate unanimously and the House with a vote of 22-1.
For most people, getting a ticket probably isn’t a big deal. Although frustrating, paying the associated fine can be done in a matter of days. But for some, shelling out a hundred or more dollars on short notice simply isn’t possible—and the longer they wait to pay, the worse the consequences become. Some judges order bench warrants for unpaid fines, while the initial fine can accumulate delinquency fees as the days pass by.
To help solve this problem, Representative Brian King is sponsoring House Bill 248. This bill would give Utahns an alternative option to handling citations they can’t afford. HB 248 would allow each defendant of a low-level offense to perform community service work in lieu of paying a fine. Credited at $10 an hour, anyone could volunteer at qualifying organizations to pay off their fines with service, avoiding the consequences that come with outstanding unpaid tickets.
Low-income Utahns will greatly benefit from this bill, as many people who lack money may have more disposable time that can instead be used to discharge their legal obligations resulting from a minor offense.