SB 527

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

Companion Bill

HB 2071

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Brian Birdwell

Bill Caption

Relating to a defendant’s payment of costs associated with a court-appointed counsel. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

This bill would modify the process for people who, at the time of their sentencing to confinement or community supervision, did not have the financial means to pay the costs associated with the court-appointed council. If this bill passes, a judge could order an individual to pay anytime during the individual’s sentence, but only after providing a written notice to the defendant to either pay or present information relevant to why the individual cannot make the payments. If the judge determines that the individual does have the ability to pay, the judge may order them to pay the entire amount or a portion of the amount owed. 

This bill would also allow a judge to amend their determination regarding a person's ability or inability to pay. In making this determination a judge may only consider the information used when appointing counsel when someone does not have the ability to pay. Finally, the judge may not extend the defendant's period of community supervision solely to collect the amount the defendant has been ordered to pay under this section. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

If an individual is found guilty of a crime and cannot afford to pay the costs at the time of conviction, it makes sense for a judge to be able to make the defendant pay those costs when they have the ability to pay. We support SB 527 because it upholds our commitment to personal responsibility. 

Organizations Supporting

Texas Association of Counties
Texas Conference of Urban Counties