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Relating to credit toward payment of a fine and costs for certain misdemeanants confined in jail or prison before sentencing.
The fiscal implications to the State cannot be determined due to a lack of casespecific data to determine if a particular defendant would be confined or imprisoned for another offense after committing a misdemeanor punishable by fine only; to determine the amount of time a defendant spends in confinement between arrest and sentencing; and to segregate revenues from costs imposed on defendants who spend time in confinement and those not confined.
HB 569 would require a judge, in imposing fines or costs for a misdemeanor punishable by fine only, to credit the defendant at least $150 per day that they were imprisoned for another offense after they committed the misdemeanor at hand. It would also require notice served to a defendant regarding an initial court appearance to include a statement that the defendant may be entitled to credit toward any fines or costs if the defendant was imprisoned after committing the offense.
HB 569 would also increase the amount of money needed to be satisfied for a defendant placed in jail solely on the basis on non-payment to be released from $100 to $150.
Texas Action supports HB 569 because it would advance individual liberty and limited government. When offenders are incarcerated for a separate offense, they cannot earn money to pay off the fine for or appear in court for an unrelated fine-only misdemeanor. HB 569 would limit unnecessary punishment for defendants who are not able to earn money or appear in court.