Local & Regional
10:38 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Here Comes the Judge

Oklahoma City, OK – Judges asked to squeeze more money from defendants

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) As state courts deal with a decline in revenue, the Supreme Court is pressing local judges to squeeze more fines out of criminal defendants.

Judges are encouraged at workshops to raise fines in certain instances and to not forgive court costs. They also have been told they should require those getting probation to pay more upfront.

A handbook encourages "defendants to pay their fines, fees and costs by credit card."

The state judiciary depends mostly on fines and court costs for its operations, but it also gets state funds. The Legislature appropriated 7 percent less this fiscal year for court operations, and further cuts are expected.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.