HB 351

85(R) - 2017
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate Criminal Justice
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate Criminal Justice
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Terry Canales


Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

Bill Caption

Relating to the administrative, civil, and criminal consequences, including fines, fees, and costs, imposed on persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of certain criminal offenses.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would modify various parts of the code related to a those who cannot afford to pay the fines or court costs associated with involvement with the criminal justice system. If a judge determines that a defendant does not have the ability to pay all or part of the fines and costs, then a judge would be authorized to require the defendant pay the costs on an installment plan, require the person to perform community service in lieu of payment, or the judge may waive part or all the costs. 

HB 351 would also modify the procedure for issuing a capias pro fine for failure to pay. If passed, a hearing would have to be held before a court may issue a capias pro fine. In addition, it would modify the procedure, and notifications required before issuing an arrest warrant based solely on a defendant’s failure to appear. This bill would also increase the amount of credit provided to defendants who satisfy the payment of their court costs and fines through confinement or through community service. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill promotes limited government by providing an alternate form of restitution beyond payment of unaffordable fines and fees for indigent individuals. We support HB 351.

Organizations Supporting

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
Texas Appleseed
Texas Public Policy Foundation