Chapter 938 Court Costs

Link to law: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999%2F0938%2F0938.html
Published: 2015

CHAPTER 938
COURT COSTS

PART I
MANDATORY COSTS IN ALL CASES(ss. 938.01-938.06)

PART II
MANDATORY COSTS IN SPECIFIC TYPES OF CASES(ss. 938.07-938.13)

PART III
MANDATORY COURT COSTS AUTHORIZED BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES(ss. 938.15-938.19)

PART IV
DISCRETIONARY COSTS IN SPECIFIC TYPES OF CASES(ss. 938.21-938.301)

PART V
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS(ss. 938.31, 938.35)

PART I
MANDATORY COSTS IN ALL CASES

938.01 Additional Court Cost Clearing Trust Fund.

938.03 Crimes Compensation Trust Fund.

938.04 Additional cost with respect to criminal fines.

938.05 Additional court costs for felonies, misdemeanors, and criminal traffic offenses.

938.055 Operating Trust Fund of the Department of Law Enforcement.

938.06 Cost for crime stoppers programs.

938.01 Additional Court Cost Clearing Trust Fund.—
(1) All courts created by Art. V of the State Constitution shall, in addition to any fine or other penalty, require every person convicted for violation of a state penal or criminal statute or convicted for violation of a municipal or county ordinance to pay $3 as a court cost. Any person whose adjudication is withheld pursuant to the provisions of s. 318.14(9) or (10) shall also be liable for payment of such cost. In addition, $3 from every bond estreature or forfeited bail bond related to such penal statutes or penal ordinances shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue as described in this subsection. However, no such assessment may be made against any person convicted for violation of any state statute, municipal ordinance, or county ordinance relating to the parking of vehicles.
(a) All costs collected by the courts pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue in accordance with administrative rules adopted by the executive director of the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Additional Court Cost Clearing Trust Fund. These funds and the funds deposited in the Additional Court Cost Clearing Trust Fund pursuant to s. 318.21(2)(c) shall be distributed as follows:
1. Ninety-two percent to the Department of Law Enforcement Criminal Justice Standards and Training Trust Fund.

2. Six and three-tenths percent to the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund for the Criminal Justice Grant Program.

3. One and seven-tenths percent to the Department of Children and Families Domestic Violence Trust Fund for the domestic violence program pursuant to s. 39.903(1).

(b) All funds in the Department of Law Enforcement Criminal Justice Standards and Training Trust Fund shall be disbursed only in compliance with s. 943.25(8).

(2) Except as provided by s. 938.15 and notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds collected and deposited pursuant to this section or s. 943.25 shall be expended unless specifically appropriated by the Legislature.

History.—s. 8, ch. 74-386; s. 1, ch. 77-119; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 78-347; s. 189, ch. 79-164; s. 144, ch. 79-190; s. 13, ch. 80-71; s. 17, ch. 81-24; s. 81, ch. 81-167; s. 85, ch. 83-55; s. 8, ch. 83-259; s. 20, ch. 84-258; s. 11, ch. 85-224; s. 6, ch. 85-250; s. 11, ch. 86-154; s. 16, ch. 86-187; s. 2, ch. 86-286; ss. 3, 5, 6, ch. 87-186; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 42, ch. 93-120; s. 17, ch. 93-252; s. 9, ch. 95-408; s. 12, ch. 97-225; s. 3, ch. 97-271; ss. 39, 40, ch. 2000-171; s. 19, ch. 2001-122; s. 1, ch. 2001-184; s. 3, ch. 2001-232; ss. 29, 30, 54, ch. 2001-254; s. 18, ch. 2002-55; ss. 76, 77, ch. 2002-402; s. 8, ch. 2003-400; s. 122, ch. 2003-402; s. 12, ch. 2011-52; s. 16, ch. 2012-147; s. 312, ch. 2014-19.

Note.—Former s. 943.25(3).

938.03 Crimes Compensation Trust Fund.—
(1) Any person pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, or being convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for, any felony, misdemeanor, delinquent act, or criminal traffic offense under the laws of this state or the violation of any municipal or county ordinance which adopts by reference any misdemeanor under state law, shall pay as an additional cost in the case, in addition and prior to any other cost required to be imposed by law, the sum of $50. Any person whose adjudication is withheld shall also be assessed such cost.

(2) These costs shall not be waived by the court.

(3) In the event that the individual has been ordered to pay restitution in accordance with s. 775.089, costs referenced in this section shall be included in a judgment.

(4) The clerk of the court shall collect and forward $49 of each $50 collected to the Department of Revenue, to be deposited in the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund. The clerk shall retain the remaining $1 of each $50 collected as an additional cost by the clerk’s office.

History.—s. 1, ch. 77-452; s. 311, ch. 79-400; s. 15, ch. 80-146; s. 1, ch. 82-222; s. 3, ch. 83-319; s. 7, ch. 85-250; s. 7, ch. 85-326; s. 13, ch. 92-107; s. 23, ch. 92-287; s. 14, ch. 94-342; s. 4, ch. 97-271; s. 20, ch. 2001-122; s. 123, ch. 2003-402.

Note.—Former s. 960.20.

938.04 Additional cost with respect to criminal fines.—In addition to any fine for any criminal offense prescribed by law, including a criminal traffic offense, and in addition to the cost imposed pursuant to the provisions of s. 318.14(10), there is hereby established and created as a court cost an additional 5-percent surcharge thereon which shall be imposed, levied, and collected together with such fine or cost imposed pursuant to s. 318.14(10). The additional court cost created under this section shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund created by s. 960.21.
History.—s. 6, ch. 77-452; s. 19, ch. 80-146; s. 2, ch. 82-222; s. 26, ch. 83-214; s. 8, ch. 85-250; s. 5, ch. 97-271; s. 21, ch. 2001-122.

Note.—Former s. 960.25.

938.05 Additional court costs for felonies, misdemeanors, and criminal traffic offenses.—
(1) Any person pleading nolo contendere to a misdemeanor or criminal traffic offense under s. 318.14(10)(a) or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of, any felony, misdemeanor, or criminal traffic offense under the laws of this state or the violation of any municipal or county ordinance which adopts by reference any misdemeanor under state law, shall pay as a cost in the case, in addition to any other cost required to be imposed by law, a sum in accordance with the following schedule:
(a) Felonies..........$225

(b) Misdemeanors..........$60

(c) Criminal traffic offenses..........$60

(2) Payment of the additional court costs provided for in subsection (1) shall be made part of any plea agreement reached by the prosecuting attorney and defense counsel or the criminal defendant where the plea agreement provides for the defendant to plead guilty or nolo contendere to any felony, misdemeanor, or criminal traffic offense under the laws of this state or any municipal or county ordinance which adopts by reference any misdemeanor under state law.

(3) The clerk of the court shall collect such additional costs for deposit in the fine and forfeiture fund established pursuant to s. 142.01 and shall notify the agency supervising a person upon whom costs have been imposed upon full payment of fees.

History.—ss. 2, 3, ch. 85-213; s. 1, ch. 86-154; ss. 2, 3, ch. 88-280; s. 3, ch. 89-129; s. 1, ch. 90-66; s. 7, ch. 97-271; s. 124, ch. 2003-402; s. 43, ch. 2008-111.

Note.—Former s. 27.3455(1)-(3).

938.055 Operating Trust Fund of the Department of Law Enforcement.—Notwithstanding any other law, the court may assess a defendant who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is convicted of, a violation of any provision of chapters 775-896, without regard to whether adjudication was withheld, in addition to any fine and other penalty provided or authorized by law, an amount of $100, to be paid to the clerk of the court, who shall forward it to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Operating Trust Fund of the Department of Law Enforcement to be used by the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system for the purposes specified in s. 943.361. This amount shall be assessed if the services of a local county-operated crime laboratory enumerated in s. 943.35(1) are used in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a violation of any provision of chapters 775-896.
History.—s. 20, ch. 97-271; s. 24, ch. 2001-122; s. 21, ch. 2005-128; s. 1, ch. 2012-125.

Note.—Former s. 938.25.

938.06 Cost for crime stoppers programs.—
(1) In addition to any fine prescribed by law, when a person is convicted of any criminal offense, the county or circuit court shall assess a court cost of $20.

(2) The clerk of the court shall collect and forward, on a monthly basis, all costs assessed under this section, less $3 per assessment as a service charge to be retained by the clerk, to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the Crime Stoppers Trust Fund, to be used as provided in s. 16.555.

(3) As used in this section, the term “convicted” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a trial or the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.

History.—s. 1, ch. 98-319; s. 22, ch. 2001-122; s. 125, ch. 2003-402; s. 31, ch. 2010-162.

PART II
MANDATORY COSTS IN
SPECIFIC TYPES OF CASES

938.07 Driving or boating under the influence.

938.08 Additional cost to fund programs in domestic violence.

938.085 Additional cost to fund rape crisis centers.

938.10 Additional court cost imposed in cases of certain crimes.

938.13 Misdemeanor convictions involving drugs or alcohol.

938.07 Driving or boating under the influence.—Notwithstanding any other provision of s. 316.193 or s. 327.35, a court cost of $135 shall be added to any fine imposed pursuant to s. 316.193 or s. 327.35. The clerks shall remit the funds to the Department of Revenue, $25 of which shall be deposited in the Emergency Medical Services Trust Fund, $50 shall be deposited in the Operating Trust Fund of the Department of Law Enforcement to be used for operational expenses in conducting the statewide criminal analysis laboratory system established in s. 943.32, and $60 shall be deposited in the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program Trust Fund created in s. 381.79.
History.—s. 9, ch. 97-271; s. 22, ch. 98-94; s. 10, ch. 2000-155; s. 23, ch. 2001-122; s. 11, ch. 2002-263; s. 4, ch. 2006-176; s. 12, ch. 2010-161.

938.08 Additional cost to fund programs in domestic violence.—In addition to any sanction imposed for a violation of s. 784.011, s. 784.021, s. 784.03, s. 784.041, s. 784.045, s. 784.048, s. 784.07, s. 784.08, s. 784.081, s. 784.082, s. 784.083, s. 784.085, s. 794.011, or for any offense of domestic violence described in s. 741.28, the court shall impose a surcharge of $201. Payment of the surcharge shall be a condition of probation, community control, or any other court-ordered supervision. The sum of $85 of the surcharge shall be deposited into the Domestic Violence Trust Fund established in s. 741.01. The clerk of the court shall retain $1 of each surcharge that the clerk of the court collects as a service charge of the clerk’s office. The remainder of the surcharge shall be provided to the governing board of the county and must be used only to defray the costs of incarcerating persons sentenced under s. 741.283 and provide additional training to law enforcement personnel in combating domestic violence.
History.—s. 5, ch. 2001-50.

938.085 Additional cost to fund rape crisis centers.—In addition to any sanction imposed when a person pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, a violation of s. 775.21(6) and (10)(a), (b), and (g); s. 784.011; s. 784.021; s. 784.03; s. 784.041; s. 784.045; s. 784.048; s. 784.07; s. 784.08; s. 784.081; s. 784.082; s. 784.083; s. 784.085; s. 787.01(3); s. 787.02(3); 787.025; s. 787.06; s. 787.07; s. 794.011; s. 794.05; s. 794.08; former s. 796.03; former s. 796.035; s. 796.04; s. 796.05; s. 796.06; s. 796.07(2)(a)-(d) and (i); s. 800.03; s. 800.04; s. 810.14; s. 810.145; s. 812.135; s. 817.025; s. 825.102; s. 825.1025; s. 827.071; s. 836.10; s. 847.0133; s. 847.0135(2); s. 847.0137; s. 847.0145; s. 943.0435(4)(c), (7), (8), (9)(a), (13), and (14)(c); or s. 985.701(1), the court shall impose a surcharge of $151. Payment of the surcharge shall be a condition of probation, community control, or any other court-ordered supervision. The sum of $150 of the surcharge shall be deposited into the Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund established within the Department of Health by chapter 2003-140, Laws of Florida. The clerk of the court shall retain $1 of each surcharge that the clerk of the court collects as a service charge of the clerk’s office.
History.—s. 3, ch. 2003-114; s. 9, ch. 2011-220; s. 18, ch. 2012-97; s. 24, ch. 2014-160.

938.10 Additional court cost imposed in cases of certain crimes.—
(1) If a person pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, any offense against a minor in violation of s. 784.085, chapter 787, chapter 794, former s. 796.03, former s. 796.035, s. 800.04, chapter 827, s. 847.012, s. 847.0133, s. 847.0135(5), s. 847.0138, s. 847.0145, s. 893.147(3), or s. 985.701, or any offense in violation of s. 775.21, s. 823.07, s. 847.0125, s. 847.0134, or s. 943.0435, the court shall impose a court cost of $151 against the offender in addition to any other cost or penalty required by law.

(2) Each month the clerk of the court shall transfer $50 from the proceeds of the court cost to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Department of Children and Families’ Grants and Donations Trust Fund for disbursement to the Office of the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem and $100 to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Department of Children and Families’ Grants and Donations Trust Fund for disbursement to the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Inc., for the purpose of funding children’s advocacy centers that are members of the network. The clerk shall retain $1 from each sum collected as a service charge.

History.—s. 84, ch. 2004-265; s. 115, ch. 2006-120; s. 8, ch. 2008-16; s. 25, ch. 2008-172; s. 1, ch. 2009-174; s. 313, ch. 2014-19; s. 25, ch. 2014-160.

938.13 Misdemeanor convictions involving drugs or alcohol.—

(1)(a) When any person, on or after October 1, 1988, is found guilty of any misdemeanor under the laws of this state in which the unlawful use of drugs or alcohol is involved, there shall be imposed an additional cost in the case, in addition to any other cost required to be imposed by law, in the sum of $15. Under no condition shall a political subdivision be held liable for the payment of such sum.

(b) The clerk of the court shall collect the $15 and forward $14 thereof to the jurisdictional county of collection as described in s. 893.165(2) to be deposited to the credit of the County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trust Fund for allocation to local substance abuse programs under s. 893.165. The clerk shall retain the remaining $1 of each $15 collected as a service charge of the clerk’s office.

(2) The costs imposed by this section apply only in each county in which the board of county commissioners has adopted an ordinance which requires the collection of such costs.

History.—s. 47, ch. 88-337; s. 42, ch. 93-39; s. 1, ch. 97-208; s. 12, ch. 97-271.

Note.—Former s. 939.017.

PART III
MANDATORY COURT COSTS AUTHORIZED
BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES

938.15 Criminal justice education for local government.

938.17 County delinquency prevention; juvenile assessment centers and school board suspension programs.

938.19 Teen courts.

938.15 Criminal justice education for local government.—In addition to the costs provided for in s. 938.01, municipalities and counties may assess an additional $2 for expenditures for criminal justice education degree programs and training courses, including basic recruit training, for their respective officers and employing agency support personnel, provided such education degree programs and training courses are approved by the employing agency administrator, on a form provided by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, for local funding.
(1) Workshops, meetings, conferences, and conventions shall, on a form approved by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission for use by the employing agency, be individually approved by the employing agency administrator prior to attendance. The form shall include, but not be limited to, a demonstration by the employing agency of the purpose of the workshop, meeting, conference, or convention; the direct relationship of the training to the officer’s job; the direct benefits the officer and agency will receive; and all anticipated costs.

(2) The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission may inspect and copy the documentation of independent audits conducted of the municipalities and counties which make such assessments to ensure that such assessments have been made and that expenditures are in conformance with the requirements of this subsection and with other applicable procedures.

History.—s. 8, ch. 74-386; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 17, ch. 81-24; s. 8, ch. 83-259; s. 5, ch. 84-156; s. 20, ch. 84-258; s. 11, ch. 85-224; s. 11, ch. 86-154; s. 16, ch. 86-187; s. 2, ch. 86-286; ss. 3, 5, 6, ch. 87-186; s. 4, ch. 88-51; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 97-271; s. 31, ch. 2010-117.

Note.—Former s. 943.25(13).

938.17 County delinquency prevention; juvenile assessment centers and school board suspension programs.—
(1) Prior to the use of costs received pursuant to s. 939.185, the sheriff’s office of the county must be a partner in a written agreement with the Department of Juvenile Justice to participate in a juvenile assessment center or with the district school board to participate in a suspension program.

(2) Assessments collected by clerks of the circuit courts comprised of more than one county shall remit the funds collected pursuant to s. 939.185 to the county in which the offense at issue was committed for deposit and disbursement.

(3) Any other funds the sheriff’s office obtains for the implementation or operation of an assessment center or suspension program may be deposited into the designated account for disbursement to the sheriff as needed.

(4) A sheriff’s office that receives proceeds pursuant to s. 939.185 shall account for all funds annually by August 1 in a written report to the juvenile justice circuit advisory board if funds are used for assessment centers, and to the district school board if funds are used for suspension programs.

History.—s. 1, ch. 96-382; s. 15, ch. 97-271; s. 1, ch. 98-207; s. 55, ch. 98-280; s. 11, ch. 2000-135; s. 85, ch. 2004-265; s. 3, ch. 2013-118.

Note.—Former s. 775.0833.

938.19 Teen courts.—
(1) Notwithstanding s. 318.121, in each county in which a teen court has been created, the board of county commissioners may adopt a mandatory court cost to be assessed in specific cases by incorporating by reference the provisions of this section in a county ordinance. Assessments collected by the clerk of the circuit court under this section shall be deposited into an account specifically for the operation and administration of the teen court.

(2) A sum of up to $3 shall be assessed as a court cost in the circuit and county court in the county against each person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is convicted of, regardless of adjudication, or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of a criminal law, a delinquent act, or a municipal or county ordinance, or who pays a fine or civil penalty for any violation of chapter 316. Any person whose adjudication is withheld under s. 318.14(9) or (10) shall also be assessed the cost.

(3) The assessment for court costs shall be assessed in addition to any fine or civil penalty or other court cost and may not be deducted from the proceeds of that portion of any fine or civil penalty that is received by a municipality in the county or by the county in accordance with ss. 316.660 and 318.21. The assessment shall be specifically added to any civil penalty paid for a violation of chapter 316, regardless of whether the penalty is paid by mail, paid in person without request for a hearing, or paid after hearing and determination by the court. However, the assessment may not be made against a person for a violation of any state law or municipal or county ordinance relating to the parking of vehicles, with the exception of a violation of the handicapped parking laws.

(4)(a) The clerk of the circuit court shall collect the assessments for court costs established in this section and shall remit the assessments to the teen court monthly.

(b) The clerk of the circuit court shall withhold 5 percent of the assessments collected, which shall be retained as fee income of the office of the clerk of the circuit court.

(5) A teen court must account for all funds received under this section in a written report to the board of county commissioners. The report must be given to the commissioners by August 1 of each year or by a date required by the commissioners.

(6) A teen court may be administered by a nonprofit organization, a law enforcement agency, the court administrator, the clerk of the court, or another similar agency authorized by the board of county commissioners.

(7) A teen court administered in a county that adopts an ordinance to assess court costs under this section may not receive court costs collected under s. 939.185(1)(a)4.

History.—s. 2, ch. 96-382; s. 46, ch. 97-238; s. 16, ch. 97-271; s. 2, ch. 98-207; s. 126, ch. 2003-402; s. 71, ch. 2005-236; s. 2, ch. 2007-71.

Note.—Former s. 39.019.

PART IV
DISCRETIONARY COSTS IN
SPECIFIC TYPES OF CASES

938.21 Alcohol and drug abuse programs.

938.23 Assistance grants for alcohol and other drug abuse programs.

938.27 Judgment for costs of prosecution and investigation.

938.29 Legal assistance; lien for payment of attorney’s fees or costs.

938.30 Financial obligations in criminal cases; supplementary proceedings.

938.301 Judicial oversight and jurisdiction.

938.21 Alcohol and drug abuse programs.—Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary of the laws of this state, the court may assess for alcohol and other drug abuse programs as provided in s. 893.165 any defendant who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or is convicted of, a violation of any provision of chapter 893 or which involves a criminal violation of s. 316.193, s. 856.011, s. 856.015, or chapter 562, chapter 567, or chapter 568, in addition to any fine and other penalty provided by law, a court cost in an amount up to the amount of the fine authorized for the violation. The court is authorized to order a defendant to pay an additional assessment if it finds that the defendant has the ability to pay the fine and the additional assessment and will not be prevented thereby from being rehabilitated or from making restitution.
History.—s. 18, ch. 97-271.

938.23 Assistance grants for alcohol and other drug abuse programs.—
(1) In addition to any fine imposed by law for any criminal offense under chapter 893 or for any criminal violation of s. 316.193, s. 856.011, s. 856.015, or chapter 562, chapter 567, or chapter 568, the court shall be authorized, pursuant to the requirements of s. 938.21, to impose an additional assessment in an amount up to the amount of the fine authorized for the offense. Such additional assessments shall be deposited for the purpose of providing assistance grants to drug abuse treatment or alcohol treatment or education programs as provided in s. 893.165.

(2) All assessments authorized by this section shall be collected by the clerk of court and remitted to the jurisdictional county as described in s. 893.165(2) for deposit into the County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trust Fund or remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Grants and Donations Trust Fund of the Department of Children and Families pursuant to guidelines and priorities developed by the department. If a County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Trust Fund has not been established for any jurisdictional county, assessments collected by the clerk of court shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit into the Grants and Donations Trust Fund of the Department of Children and Families.

History.—s. 3, ch. 88-381; s. 3, ch. 90-111; s. 2, ch. 93-194; s. 4, ch. 94-107; s. 19, ch. 97-271; s. 307, ch. 99-8; s. 31, ch. 2001-122; s. 6, ch. 2009-47; s. 314, ch. 2014-19.

Note.—Former s. 893.16.

938.27 Judgment for costs of prosecution and investigation.—
(1) In all criminal and violation-of-probation or community-control cases, convicted persons are liable for payment of the costs of prosecution, including investigative costs incurred by law enforcement agencies, by fire departments for arson investigations, and by investigations of the Department of Financial Services or the Office of Financial Regulation of the Financial Services Commission, if requested by such agencies. The court shall include these costs in every judgment rendered against the convicted person. For purposes of this section, “convicted” means a determination of guilt, or of violation of probation or community control, which is a result of a plea, trial, or violation proceeding, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.

(2)(a) The court shall impose the costs of prosecution and investigation notwithstanding the defendant’s present ability to pay. The court shall require the defendant to pay the costs within a specified period or pursuant to a payment plan under s. 28.246(4).

(b) The end of such period or the last such installment must not be later than:
1. The end of the period of probation or community control, if probation or community control is ordered;

2. Five years after the end of the term of imprisonment imposed, if the court does not order probation or community control; or

3. Five years after the date of sentencing in any other case.

However, the obligation to pay any unpaid amounts does not expire if not paid in full within the period specified in this paragraph.

(c) If not otherwise provided by the court under this section, costs must be paid immediately.

(3) If a defendant is placed on probation or community control, payment of any costs under this section shall be a condition of such probation or community control. The court may revoke probation or community control if the defendant fails to pay these costs.

(4) Any dispute as to the proper amount or type of costs shall be resolved by the court by the preponderance of the evidence. The burden of demonstrating the amount of costs incurred is on the state attorney. The burden of demonstrating the financial resources of the defendant and the financial needs of the defendant is on the defendant. The burden of demonstrating such other matters as the court deems appropriate is upon the party designated by the court as justice requires.

(5) Any default in payment of costs may be collected by any means authorized by law for enforcement of a judgment.

(6) The clerk of the court shall collect and dispense cost payments in any case, regardless of whether the disposition of the case takes place before the judge in open court or in any other manner provided by law.

(7) Investigative costs that are recovered must be returned to the appropriate investigative agency that incurred the expense. Such costs include actual expenses incurred in conducting the investigation and prosecution of the criminal case; however, costs may also include the salaries of permanent employees. Any investigative costs recovered on behalf of a state agency must be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit in the agency operating trust fund, and a report of the payment must be sent to the agency, except that any investigative costs recovered on behalf of the Department of Law Enforcement must be deposited in the department’s Forfeiture and Investigative Support Trust Fund under s. 943.362.

(8) Costs for the state attorney must be set in all cases at no less than $50 per case when a misdemeanor or criminal traffic offense is charged and no less than $100 per case when a felony offense is charged, including a proceeding in which the underlying offense is a violation of probation or community control. The court may set a higher amount upon a showing of sufficient proof of higher costs incurred. Costs recovered on behalf of the state attorney under this section must be deposited into the State Attorneys Revenue Trust Fund to be used during the fiscal year in which the funds are collected, or in any subsequent fiscal year, for actual expenses incurred in investigating and prosecuting criminal cases, which may include the salaries of permanent employees, or for any other purpose authorized by the Legislature.

History.—s. 1, ch. 76, 1846; RS 2983; GS 4057; RGS 6161; CGL 8475; s. 47, ch. 87-243; s. 7, ch. 92-300; s. 4, ch. 97-60; s. 21, ch. 97-271; s. 25, ch. 2001-122; s. 1925, ch. 2003-261; s. 127, ch. 2003-402; s. 5, ch. 2006-176; s. 44, ch. 2008-111; s. 32, ch. 2010-162; s. 19, ch. 2012-100; s. 2, ch. 2013-112.

Note.—Former s. 939.01.

938.29 Legal assistance; lien for payment of attorney’s fees or costs.—

(1)(a) A defendant who is convicted of a criminal act or a violation of probation or community control and who has received the assistance of the public defender’s office, a special assistant public defender, the office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, or a private conflict attorney, or who has received due process services after being found indigent for costs under s. 27.52, shall be liable for payment of the assessed application fee under s. 27.52 and attorney’s fees and costs. Attorney’s fees and costs shall be set in all cases at no less than $50 per case when a misdemeanor or criminal traffic offense is charged and no less than $100 per case when a felony offense is charged, including a proceeding in which the underlying offense is a violation of probation or community control. The court may set a higher amount upon a showing of sufficient proof of higher fees or costs incurred. For purposes of this section, “convicted” means a determination of guilt, or of violation of probation or community control, which is a result of a plea, trial, or violation proceeding, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld. The court shall include these fees and costs in every judgment rendered against the convicted person.

(b) Upon entering a judgment of conviction, the defendant shall be liable to pay the attorney’s fees and costs in full after the judgment of conviction becomes final. The court shall impose the attorney’s fees and costs notwithstanding the defendant’s present ability to pay.

(c) The defendant shall pay the application fee under s. 27.52(1)(b) and attorney’s fees and costs in full or in installments, at the time or times specified. The court may order payment of the assessed application fee and attorney’s fees and costs as a condition of probation, of suspension of sentence, or of withholding the imposition of sentence. All funds collected under this section shall be distributed as provided in s. 27.562.

(2)(a) There is created in the name of the state a lien, enforceable as hereinafter provided, upon all the property, both real and personal, of any person who:
1. Has received any assistance from any public defender of the state, from any special assistant public defender, from any office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, or from any private conflict attorney, or who has received due process services after being found indigent for costs; or

2. Is a parent of an accused minor or an accused adult tax-dependent person who is being, or has been, represented by any public defender of the state, by any special assistant public defender, by any office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, or by a private conflict attorney, or who is receiving or has received due process services after being found indigent for costs.

Such lien constitutes a claim against the defendant-recipient or parent and his or her estate, enforceable according to law.

(b) A judgment showing the name and residence of the defendant-recipient or parent shall be recorded in the public record, without cost, by the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the defendant-recipient or parent resides and in each county in which such defendant-recipient or parent then owns or later acquires any property. Such judgments shall be enforced on behalf of the state by the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which assistance was rendered. The lien against a parent shall remain in force notwithstanding the child becoming emancipated or the child reaching the age of majority.

(3) The clerk of the circuit court within the county wherein the defendant-recipient was tried or received the services of a public defender, special assistant public defender, office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, or appointed private legal counsel, or received due process services after being found indigent for costs, shall enforce, satisfy, compromise, settle, subordinate, release, or otherwise dispose of any debt or lien imposed under this section. A defendant-recipient or parent, liable to pay attorney’s fees or costs and who is not in willful default in the payment thereof, may, at any time, petition the court which entered the order for deferral of the payment of attorney’s fees or costs or of any unpaid portion thereof.

(4) No lien thus created shall be foreclosed upon the homestead of such defendant-recipient or parent, nor shall any defendant-recipient or parent liable for payment of attorney’s fees or costs be denied any of the protections afforded any other civil judgment debtor.

(5) The court having jurisdiction of the defendant-recipient shall, at such stage of the proceedings as the court may deem appropriate, determine the value of the services of the public defender, special assistant public defender, office of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, or appointed private legal counsel and costs, at which time the defendant-recipient or parent, after adequate notice thereof, shall have opportunity to be heard and offer objection to the determination, and to be represented by counsel, with due opportunity to exercise and be accorded the procedures and rights provided in the laws and court rules pertaining to civil cases at law.

History.—s. 3, ch. 63-410; s. 7, ch. 67-539; s. 1, ch. 72-41; s. 1, ch. 77-264; s. 2, ch. 77-378; s. 10, ch. 79-400; s. 8, ch. 80-376; s. 1, ch. 83-256; s. 2, ch. 89-129; s. 142, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 96-232; s. 7, ch. 97-107; s. 22, ch. 97-271; s. 128, ch. 2003-402; s. 86, ch. 2004-265; s. 61, ch. 2005-236; s. 113, ch. 2006-1; s. 29, ch. 2007-62; s. 45, ch. 2008-111; s. 33, ch. 2010-162.

Note.—Former s. 27.56.

938.30 Financial obligations in criminal cases; supplementary proceedings.—
(1) Any person liable for payment of any financial obligation in any criminal case is subject to the provisions of this section. Courts operating under the provisions of this section shall have jurisdiction over such financial obligations to ensure compliance.

(2) The court may require a person liable for payment of an obligation to appear and be examined under oath concerning the person’s financial ability to pay the obligation. The judge may convert the statutory financial obligation into a court-ordered obligation to perform community service, subject to the provisions of s. 318.18(8), after examining a person under oath and determining the person’s inability to pay. Any person who fails to attend a hearing may be arrested on warrant or capias issued by the clerk upon order of the court.

(3) The order requiring the person’s appearance shall be served a reasonable time before the date of the examination in the manner provided for service of summons, as provided for service of papers under rules of civil procedure, or by actual notice.

(4) Testimony may be taken regarding any subject relevant to the financial interests of the person tending to aid in satisfying the obligation. Other witnesses who may have information relevant to the issue of the person’s ability or lack of ability to pay the obligation may be examined. Documents and other exhibits may also be produced as evidence.

(5) The court may order that any nonexempt property of the person which is in the hands of another be applied toward satisfying the obligation.

(6) If judgment has not been previously entered on any court-imposed financial obligation, the court may enter judgment thereon and issue any writ necessary to enforce the judgment in the manner allowed in civil cases. Any judgment issued under this section constitutes a civil lien against the judgment debtor’s presently owned or after-acquired property, when recorded pursuant to s. 55.10. Supplementary proceedings undertaken by any governmental entity to satisfy a judgment imposed pursuant to this section may proceed without bond and without the payment of statutory fees associated with judgment enforcement.

(7) Provisions of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act apply to collection matters under this section and may be used to collect any court-imposed financial obligation subject to this section.

(8) If a criminal or civil judgment has previously been entered on a court-imposed financial obligation, the judgment constitutes a civil lien against the judgment debtor’s presently owned or after-acquired real or personal property when recorded pursuant to s. 55.10, except that a judgment on a court-imposed financial obligation is not subject to the 10-year rerecording requirement of s. 55.10. The judgment must secure all unpaid court-imposed financial obligations that are due and may accrue subsequent to the recording of the judgment, as well as interest and reasonable costs for issuing a satisfaction and recording the satisfaction in the official records.

(9) The clerk of the court shall enforce, satisfy, compromise, settle, subordinate, release, or otherwise dispose of any debts or liens imposed and collected under this section in the same manner as prescribed in s. 938.29(3).

(10) In lieu of examining the person, or in addition thereto, the court may order the person to comply with a payment schedule to satisfy the obligation.

(11) Any person failing to appear or willfully failing to comply with an order under this section, including an order to comply with a payment schedule established by the clerk of court, may be held in civil contempt.

(12) Administrative costs incurred in enforcing compliance under this section shall be paid by the person. Such costs may include postage, copying, docketing fees, service fees, court reporter’s fees, and reimbursements for the costs of processing bench warrants and pickup orders. Reasonable attorney’s fees may be assessed at the court’s discretion. Judges may assess such administrative costs and attorney’s fees against the person as the court deems necessary to offset such fees and costs incurred under this section.

(13) The court may refer any proceeding under this section to a special magistrate who shall report findings and make recommendations to the court. The court shall act on such recommendations within a reasonable amount of time.

(14) The provisions of this section may be used in addition to, or in lieu of, other provisions of law for enforcing payment of court-imposed financial obligations in criminal cases. The court may enter any orders necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

History.—s. 4, ch. 98-247; s. 1, ch. 99-266; s. 129, ch. 2003-402; s. 102, ch. 2004-11; s. 20, ch. 2012-100; s. 9, ch. 2013-109.

938.301 Judicial oversight and jurisdiction.—The Comprehensive Court Enforcement Program may be implemented as supplementary proceedings in any judicial circuit by the chief judge of that circuit. Judges in such circuits shall have jurisdiction to carry out the provisions of this act in criminal cases to ensure compliance with court-imposed financial obligations.
History.—s. 3, ch. 98-247.

PART V
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

938.31 Incorporation by reference.

938.35 Collection of court-related financial obligations.

938.31 Incorporation by reference.—The purpose of this chapter is to facilitate uniform imposition and collection of court costs throughout the state and, to this end, a reference to this chapter, or to any section or subdivision within this chapter, constitutes a general reference under the doctrine of incorporation by reference.
History.—s. 24, ch. 97-271.

938.35 Collection of court-related financial obligations.—The board of county commissioners or the governing body of a municipality may pursue the collection of any fees, service charges, fines, or costs to which it is entitled which remain unpaid for 90 days or more, or refer the account to a private attorney who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar or collection agent who is registered and in good standing pursuant to chapter 559. In pursuing the collection of such unpaid financial obligations through a private attorney or collection agent, the board of county commissioners or the governing body of a municipality must determine this is cost-effective and follow applicable procurement practices. The collection fee, including any reasonable attorney’s fee, paid to any attorney or collection agent retained by the board of county commissioners or the governing body of a municipality may be added to the balance owed, in an amount not to exceed 40 percent of the amount owed at the time the account is referred to the attorney or agents for collection.
History.—s. 1, ch. 98-84; s. 130, ch. 2003-402; s. 87, ch. 2004-265.
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