Title 12
Criminal Procedure

Chapter 20

R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-20-10

§ 12-20-10. Remission of costs — Indigency — Limited ability to pay — Inherent power — Prohibition against remitting order of restitution.

(a) The payment of court costs, assessments, and fees in criminal cases shall, upon application or sworn testimony, presented during sentencing or any time thereafter, be remitted in whole based on a determination that a defendant is indigent pursuant to the standards set forth in this section.

(1) Qualification for and/or receipt of any of the following benefits or services by the defendant shall be prima facie evidence of the defendant’s indigency:

(i) Temporary assistance to needy families;

(ii) Social security including supplemental security income and state supplemental payments program;

(iii) Public assistance;

(iv) Disability insurance; or

(v) Food stamps.

(2) The superior and district courts may establish additional criteria and/or procedures for the determination of an ability to pay and for the administration of this section.

(b) If a defendant is not indigent, the payment of court costs, assessments, and fees in criminal cases may, upon sworn testimony or application during sentencing or any time thereafter, be remitted in whole or in part by any justice of the superior or district court or the justice’s designee pursuant to a determination of limited or inability to pay based upon the standards set forth in this section, or any other considerations the court may deem appropriate. Provided further that any judge of a district court may remit the court costs, assessments, and fees in criminal case(s) pending in his or her court, or in the case of any prisoner sentenced by the court, where no appeal of the sentence has been taken.

(1) In making its assessment of a defendant’s limited or inability to pay, the court may consider the defendant’s good faith efforts to pay, and/or his or her outstanding court orders for payments in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) or more for any of the following:

(i) Restitution payments to the victims of crime;

(ii) Child support payments;

(iii) Payments for any counseling required as a condition of the sentence imposed including, but not limited to, substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence; or

(iv) Fines imposed as part of the sentence.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this section shall not limit the court’s inherent power to remit any fine, court costs, fees, assessments, or other costs of prosecution, provided no order of restitution shall be suspended by the court.

History of Section.
G.L. 1896, ch. 285, § 60; P.L. 1898, ch. 588, § 1; P.L. 1905, ch. 1241, § 1; C.P.A. 1905, § 1223; G.L. 1909, ch. 354, § 60; G.L. 1909, ch. 354, § 54; P.L. 1915, ch. 1261, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 407, § 54; G.L. 1938, ch. 625, § 54; G.L. 1956, § 12-20-10; P.L. 2008, ch. 297, § 4; P.L. 2008, ch. 326, § 4; P.L. 2022, ch. 200, § 2, effective June 27, 2022; P.L. 2022, ch. 201, § 2, effective June 27, 2022.