TITLE 12
Criminal Procedure

CHAPTER 12-21
Recovery of Fines, Penalties, and Forfeitures

SECTION 12-21-20


§ 12-21-20 Order to pay costs and determination of ability to pay.

(a) If, upon any complaint or prosecution before any court, the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine, enter into a recognizance or suffer any penalty or forfeiture, he or she shall also be ordered to pay all costs of prosecution, unless directed otherwise by law.

(b) In superior court, the judge shall make a preliminary assessment of the defendant's ability to pay immediately after sentencing by use of the procedures specified in this section.

(c) In district court, the judge shall make a preliminary assessment of the defendant's ability to pay immediately after sentencing or nearly thereafter as practicable by use of the procedures specified in this section.

(d) The defendant's ability to pay and payment schedule shall be determined by use of standardized procedures including a financial assessment instrument. The financial assessment instrument shall be:

(1) based upon sound and generally accepted accounting principles;

(2) completed based on a personal interview of the defendant and includes any and all relevant information relating to the defendant's present ability to pay including, but not limited to, the information contained in § 12-20-10; and

(3) made by the defendant under oath.

(e) The financial instrument may, from time to time and after hearing, be modified by the court.

(f) When persons come before the court for failure to pay fines, fees, assessments and other costs of prosecution, or court ordered restitution, and their ability to pay and payment schedule has not been previously determined, the judge, the clerk of the court, or their designee shall make these determinations by use of the procedures specified in this section.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the court's ability, after hearing in open court, to revise findings about a person's ability to pay and payment schedule made by the clerk of the court or designee, based upon the receipt of newly available, relevant, or other information.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 288, § 13; G.L. 1909, ch. 357, § 15; G.L. 1923, ch. 410, § 15; G.L. 1938, ch. 631, § 15; G.L. 1956, § 12-21-20; P.L. 2008, ch. 297, § 5; P.L. 2008, ch. 326, § 5.)