In recent years, court costs have increased to the point where they are often times more expensive than legal representation. Court costs vary from county to county and depending on the nature of the charge. Interestingly, a person convicted of murder or rape who will spend years or life in prison at taxpayer expense does not pay any court costs. Yet, a person found guilty of a minor moving violation may owe hundreds of dollars of court costs. If court costs are not paid in full, the person owing the costs can be brought before a judge to face stiffer penalties including the possibility of going to jail. This hardly seems fair. However, since many local government agencies appear to be operating at a loss, citizens are being squeezed more and more for revenue. One need not look far to see taxpayer-funded cameras at traffic intersections which are used to cite drivers for red light violations, etc.
The only way to avoid the legal obligation of owing court costs is to win your case, whether it be a felony, misdemeanor or minor moving violation. It is unlikely that a person going to court without an attorney will be able to obtain a satisfactory outcome. An attorney may be able to negotiate having all or some of the charges dismissed. Often times, individuals are charged with multiple offenses. If an attorney is unable to get all of the charges dismissed or win the entire case at trial, he or she might be able to get the more costly charges dismissed or even have said charges amended or reduced to lesser charges which are far less costly to the client.
One of the more expensive charges is Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI). Ironically, court costs for a DUI far exceed court costs for a misdemeanor battery or retail theft, which are crimes of violence and dishonesty. Therefore, it is imperative to obtain the services of a qualified attorney to analyze your case and determine whether there are adequate legal defenses to assert.