Cost of breaking law in Delaware poised to rise
PRICE OF A TICKET
A traffic ticket for driving 10 miles an hour over the speed limit carries a $30 fine for a first-time offender.
But soon the added fees will total $47.40, bringing the $30 ticket's real cost to $77.40.
The fees include:
$5.40 for the victims compensation fund
$1 to fund courtroom video arraignment
$1 for Delaware Criminal Justice Information System (DELJIS) operations
$10 for court security
$15 for the Transportation Trust Fund (DelDOT)
$15 for fund to combat violent crimes.
Source: Delaware Justice of the Peace Court
The price of a speeding ticket is about to go up -- along with fines for any other violation of Delaware law.
Gov. Jack Markell is poised to sign legislation to levy a new $15 fee on every criminal, civil, traffic and Family Court violation on the books -- creating millions in new revenue for police agencies.
For a speeding ticket for driving 10 miles over the limit, add-on fees of $32.40 earmarked for various expenses already outweigh the cost of the actual $30 ticket.
State lawmakers just added another $15 to the bill.
The new fee, passed by the Senate on the last night of the legislative session, will go toward hiring and equipping new state troopers and paying municipal police officers overtime for combating violent crime, officials said.
"I knew this fee would not be very popular amongst the people who have to pay it," Markell said Friday. "But I think it's incredibly important that we do everything we can to fight violent crime."
The new fee wasn't setting well with Kenneisha Barnes, a 20-year-old Wilmington woman who was at Justice of the Peace Court 20 in Wilmington on Friday to contest a ticket for loitering.
"I don't think there should be another $15 added to a ticket that's already 100-something, 200-something dollars," Barnes said.
Law-enforcement officials stressed the fee is designed to make violators pay for increased policing costs.
"The ones using our services are basically the ones that are going to pay for the police officers," said Mike Capriglione, Newport police chief and president of the Delaware Police Chiefs' Council.
But the fee has drawn some critics who believe traffic violators will bear the cost of combating violent crimes.
"Is the guy who runs the stop sign, is he really the guy who is going to be bearing the cost for this violent crimes fund?" asked Public Defender Brendan O'Neill.
Judges cannot waive the fee and criminals being imprisoned are unlikely to pay it, O'Neill said.
Tags for this Thread