Community Service in Lieu of Fines-2018 Oklahoma Laws #23

Oklahoma Municipal court jailThis change in law allows someone to perform community service in lieu of fines. This is only in municipal courts of record. The defendant must be without means to pay the fine or costs, and no undue hardship must result from the performance of community service. The fine or costs will be paid off at a rate of not less than the current federal minimum wage.

The remainder of the affected section of law stayed the same. It covers the imprisonment for nonpayment of fines and costs for someone unable to pay in municipal courts of record.

Anyone convicted in a municipal criminal court of record of a violation of any ordinance of the city and sentenced to pay a fine and costs, who is financially able but refuses or neglects to pay such fine and costs, will be imprisoned in the jail, farm, or workhouse of the city, in the discretion of the court, for one ( day for each $25 of the fine and cost assessed. This is commonly called “sitting out” the fine. Someone may also sit out the fine for $50 per day if he or she performs useful labor. If the defendant is indigent, the municipal judge may direct the total amount due to be entered upon the court minutes and to be certified to the district court in the county where the situs of the municipal government is located. It will then be entered upon the district court judgment docket and have the full force and effect of a district court judgment. After that, the same remedies will be available for the enforcement of the judgment as are available to any other judgment creditor. 

SB 340 amended 11 O.S. § 28-124. The change went into effect November 1, 2018.

Sources: SB 340 & 11 O.S. § 28-124

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