Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Subtitle .
Chapter 21. Recovery of Fines and Penalties
10/4/2022

Chapter 21. Recovery of Fines and Penalties.

Article 1. Proceedings to Recover.

§ 19.2-339. Word "fine" construed.

Whenever the word "fine" is used in this chapter, it shall be construed to refer solely to the pecuniary penalty imposed by a court or jury upon a defendant who has been found guilty of a crime. The word "fine" shall not include other forfeitures, penalties, costs, amercements or the like, even though they follow as a consequence of conviction of crime.

Code 1950, § 19.1-323; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-340. Fines; how recovered; in what name.

When any statute or ordinance prescribes a fine, unless it is otherwise expressly provided or would be inconsistent with the manifest intention of the General Assembly, it shall be paid to the Commonwealth if prescribed by a statute and recoverable by presentment, indictment, information, or warrant and paid to the locality if prescribed by an ordinance and recoverable by warrant. Whenever any warrant or summons is issued pursuant to § 19.2-72 or 19.2-74 for an offense in violation of any county, city, or town ordinance that is similar to any provision of this Code, and such warrant or summons references the offense using both the citation corresponding to the county, city, or town ordinance and the specific provision of this Code, any fine prescribed by the county, city, or town ordinance shall be paid to the locality. Fines imposed and costs taxed in a criminal or traffic prosecution, including a prosecution for a violation of an ordinance adopted pursuant to § 46.2-1220, for committing an offense shall constitute a judgment and, if not paid at the time they are imposed, execution may issue thereon in the same manner as upon any other monetary judgment, subject to the period of limitations provided by § 19.2-341.

Code 1950, § 19.1-324; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1995, c. 438; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 524, 542.

§ 19.2-340.1. Disposition of fines in criminal cases.

When a law-enforcement officer of (i) the Department of State Police or (ii) any other division of the state government makes an arrest or issues a summons for a violation of a provision of the Code of Virginia, the person arrested or summoned shall be charged with a violation of that Code provision and shall not be charged with a substantially similar local ordinance. All fines collected upon conviction of any person so arrested or summoned shall be credited to the Literary Fund.

2012, c. 749.

§ 19.2-341. Penalties other than fines; how recovered; in what name; limitation of actions.

When any statute or ordinance prescribes a monetary penalty other than a fine, unless it is otherwise expressly provided or would be inconsistent with the manifest intention of the General Assembly, it shall be paid to the Commonwealth if prescribed by a statute and paid to the locality if prescribed by an ordinance and recoverable by warrant, presentment, indictment, or information. Penalties imposed and costs taxed in any such proceeding shall constitute a judgment and, if not paid at the time they are imposed, execution may issue thereon in the same manner as upon any other monetary judgment. No such proceeding of any nature, however, shall be brought or had for the recovery of such a penalty or costs due the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, unless within 60 years from the date of the offense or delinquency giving rise to imposition of such penalty if imposed by a circuit court or within 30 years if imposed by a general district court.

Code 1950, § 19.1-324; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1983, c. 499; 1995, c. 438; 2018, c. 736.

§ 19.2-342. Where and in what court proceeding to be.

In a proceeding under § 19.2-341, such warrant, presentment, indictment or information shall be in the county or city wherein the offense was committed or the delinquency occurred.

Code 1950, § 19.1-325; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-343. Reserved.

Reserved.

Article 2. Reports, Etc., of Fines and Costs [Repealed].

§ 19.2-345. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1988, c. 509.

§ 19.2-347. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1983, c. 499.

Article 3. Collection and Disposition of Fines.

§ 19.2-348. Attorneys for Commonwealth or clerks to superintend issue of executions, etc.

The attorney for the Commonwealth or the clerk of the circuit court shall superintend the issuing of all executions or judgments for fines and penalties going wholly or in part to the Commonwealth or a county, city or town, in the circuit court or appropriate district court of his county or city.

Code 1950, § 19.1-341.1; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1983, c. 499; 1992, c. 623; 1994, c. 811.

§ 19.2-349. Responsibility for collections; clerks to report unsatisfied fines, etc.; duty of attorneys for Commonwealth; duties of Department of Taxation.

A. The clerk of the circuit court and district court of every county and city shall submit to the judge of his court, the Department of Taxation, the State Compensation Board and the attorney for the Commonwealth of his county or city a monthly report of all fines, costs, forfeitures and penalties which are delinquent more than 90 days, including court-ordered restitution of a sum certain, imposed in his court for a violation of state law or a local ordinance which remain unsatisfied, including those which are delinquent in installment payments. The monthly report shall include the social security number or driver's license number of the defendant, if known, and such other information as the Department of Taxation and the Compensation Board deem appropriate. The Executive Secretary shall make the report required by this subsection on behalf of those clerks who participate in the Supreme Court's automated information system.

B. The clerk of the circuit court and district court of every county and city shall submit quarterly to the attorney for the Commonwealth of his county or city and any probation agency that serves such county or city:

1. A list of all defendants with an outstanding balance of restitution ordered by the court served by such clerk. Such report shall include the defendant's name, case number, total amount of restitution ordered, amount of restitution remaining due, and last date of payment; and

2. A list of all accounts where more than 90 days have passed since an account was sent to collections and no payments have been made toward fines, costs, forfeitures, penalties, or restitution. For accounts where restitution is owed, such report shall include the defendant's name, case number, and total amount of restitution and restitution interest due.

C. It shall be the duty of the attorney for the Commonwealth to cause proper proceedings to be instituted for the collection and satisfaction of all fines, costs, forfeitures, penalties and restitution. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall determine whether it would be impractical or uneconomical for such service to be rendered by the office of the attorney for the Commonwealth. If the defendant does not enter into an installment payment agreement under § 19.2-354, the attorney for the Commonwealth and the clerk may agree to a process by which collection activity may be commenced 90 days after judgment.

If the attorney for the Commonwealth does not undertake collection, he shall contract with (i) private attorneys or private collection agencies, (ii) enter into an agreement with a local governing body, (iii) enter into an agreement with the county or city treasurer, or (iv) use the services of the Department of Taxation, upon such terms and conditions as may be established by guidelines promulgated by the Office of the Attorney General, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court with the Department of Taxation and the Compensation Board. If the attorney for the Commonwealth undertakes collection, he shall follow the procedures established by the Department of Taxation and the Compensation Board. Such guidelines shall not supersede contracts between attorneys for the Commonwealth and private attorneys and collection agencies when active collection efforts are being undertaken. As part of such contract, private attorneys or collection agencies shall be given access to the social security number of the defendant in order to assist in the collection effort. Any such private attorney shall be subject to the penalties and provisions of § 18.2-186.3.

The fees of any private attorneys or collection agencies shall be paid on a contingency fee basis out of the proceeds of the amounts collected. However, in no event shall such attorney or collection agency receive a fee for amounts collected by the Department of Taxation under the Setoff Debt Collection Act (§ 58.1-520 et seq.). A local treasurer undertaking collection pursuant to an agreement with the attorney for the Commonwealth may collect the administrative fee authorized by § 58.1-3958.

D. The Department of Taxation and the State Compensation Board shall be responsible for the collection of any judgment which remains unsatisfied or does not meet the conditions of § 19.2-354. Persons owing such unsatisfied judgments or failing to comply with installment payment agreements under § 19.2-354 shall be subject to the delinquent tax collection provisions of Title 58.1. The Department of Taxation and the State Compensation Board shall establish procedures to be followed by clerks of courts, attorneys for the Commonwealth, other state agencies and any private attorneys or collection agents and may employ private attorneys or collection agencies, or engage other state agencies to collect the judgment. The Department of Taxation and the Commonwealth shall be entitled to deduct a fee for services from amounts collected for violations of local ordinances.

The Department of Taxation and the State Compensation Board shall annually report to the Governor and the General Assembly the total of fines, costs, forfeitures and penalties assessed, collected, and unpaid and those which remain unsatisfied or do not meet the conditions of § 19.2-354 by each circuit and district court. The report shall include the procedures established by the Department of Taxation and the State Compensation Board pursuant to this section and a plan for increasing the collection of unpaid fines, costs, forfeitures and penalties. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall annually report to the Governor, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court and the General Assembly as to the adherence of clerks of courts, attorneys for the Commonwealth and other state agencies to the procedures established by the Department of Taxation and the State Compensation Board.

The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall annually report to the Governor, the General Assembly, the Chairmen of the House Committee for Courts of Justice and Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and the Virginia State Crime Commission on the total of restitution assessed, collected, and unpaid for each circuit and district court and the total of restitution collected and deposited into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund pursuant to subsection I of § 19.2-305.1 by each circuit and district court.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any orders of restitution docketed in the name of the victim or when it is ordered that an assignment of the judgment for restitution to the victim be docketed.

Code 1950, § 19.1-341.2; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495; 1979, c. 469; 1983, cc. 415, 499; 1988, cc. 742, 750, 770, 852; 1991, c. 202; 1992, c. 623; 1993, c. 269; 1994, cc. 841, 945; 2001, c. 414; 2003, c. 262; 2006, c. 359; 2007, c. 551; 2012, c. 615; 2017, cc. 786, 802, 806, 814; 2018, cc. 724, 725; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 190, 393.

§ 19.2-349.1. Receipt of unpaid fines, costs, forfeitures, penalties, or restitution by Department of Motor Vehicles.

At the direction of the Committee on District Courts or at the request of a circuit court clerk, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court may enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles authorizing the Department of Motor Vehicles to receive, on behalf of a district or circuit court, payment of any delinquent fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties, including any court-ordered restitution of a sum certain, imposed by a court for the violation of a state law or a local ordinance. However, in no case shall the Department of Motor Vehicles be authorized to establish an installment plan for any such payments or to receive partial payment of the full amount imposed by the court for the violation of a state law or a local ordinance.

For each such payment it receives, the Department of Motor Vehicles may impose and collect a processing fee, to be used to defray the costs of the transaction to the Department. Such transaction fee shall be $2, unless payment is made by credit card or debit card and the merchant's fees and other transaction costs imposed by the card issuer are charged to the Department of Motor Vehicles, in which case the processing fee shall be the greater of (i) $2 or (ii) an amount not to exceed four percent of the amount of the payment. The Department may also collect any processing fee charged by a private vendor operating under contract to distribute to the court payments received by the Department. All processing fees imposed and collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles under this section shall be in addition to the other fees specified in this chapter. All such processing fees collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles shall be paid into the state treasury as provided in § 46.2-206 and used to meet the expenses of the Department of Motor Vehicles. The service charge provided under § 46.2-212.1 shall not be added to the processing fee authorized under this section. Other fees specified in this chapter, including those payable pursuant to collections contracts made by attorneys for the Commonwealth, shall not be diminished or offset due to receipt of payments by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

2015, c. 228.

§ 19.2-350. When sheriff not to receive fines.

No sheriff or other law-enforcement officer shall receive any fine, penalty or costs imposed by a court not of record, except under process duly issued.

Code 1950, § 19.1-342; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-351. How fines disposed of; informer.

Although a law may allow an informer or person prosecuting to have part of a fine or penalty, the whole thereof shall go to the Commonwealth, unless the name of such informer or prosecutor be endorsed on, or written at the foot of, the presentment at the time it is made, or of the indictment before it is presented to the grand jury, or of the information before it is filed, or of the writ issued in the action, or the process on the warrant, or the notice of the motion before service of such writ, process, or notice.

Code 1950, § 19.1-344; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-352. Officers to pay fines to clerks; default; forfeiture, etc.

Every sheriff or other officer receiving money under a writ of fieri facias or capias pro fine shall pay the same to the clerk of the court from which such process issued, on or before the return day of such process; and if such sheriff or other officer fail to pay the money, or fail to return such writ of fieri facias or capias pro fine, he shall, for every such failure, unless good cause be shown therefor, forfeit twenty dollars; and the clerk shall, within ten days from the return day of such process, report the failure to pay such money, or to return such process, to the attorney for the Commonwealth, who shall proceed at once against such officer in default to recover such money and the forfeiture aforesaid.

Code 1950, § 19.1-345; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-353. Certain fines paid into Literary Fund.

The proceeds of all fines and penalties collected for offenses committed against the Commonwealth, and directed by Article VIII, Section 8 of the Constitution of Virginia to be set apart as a part of a perpetual and permanent literary fund, shall be paid and collected only in lawful money of the United States, and shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the Literary Fund, and shall be used for no other purpose whatsoever.

Code 1950, § 19.1-346; 1960, c. 366; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-353.1. Fieri facias and proceedings thereon.

Any writ of fieri facias issued under this chapter and the proceedings on the same shall conform to the writ of fieri facias and proceedings thereon under Article 19 (§ 8.01-196 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01.

Code 1950, § 19.1-347; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-353.2. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1988, cc. 770, 852.

§ 19.2-353.3. Acceptance of checks and credit or debit cards in lieu of money; additional fee.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-353, personal checks and credit or debit cards shall be accepted in lieu of money to collect and secure all fees, fines, restitution, forfeiture, penalties and costs collected for offenses tried in a district court, including motor vehicle violations, committed against the Commonwealth or against any county, city or town. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-353, personal checks shall be accepted in lieu of money to collect and secure all fees, fines, restitution, forfeiture, penalties and costs collected for offenses tried in a circuit court, including motor vehicle violations, committed against the Commonwealth or against any county, city or town. The clerk of any circuit court shall not be required to but may, in his discretion, accept credit or debit card payment in lieu of money to collect and secure all fees, including filing fees, fines, restitution, forfeitures, penalties, and costs collected. The Committee on District Courts shall devise a procedure for approving and accepting checks and credit or debit cards that shall be accepted by the district courts. Court personnel shall not be held to be guarantors of the payment made in such manner and shall not be personally liable for any sums uncollected. The clerk of the court, in addition to any fees, fines, restitution, forfeiture, penalties or costs, may add to such payment a sum not to exceed four percent of the amount paid for the transaction, or a flat fee not to exceed $2 per transaction, as a reasonable convenience fee for the acceptance of a credit or debit card.

If a check is returned unpaid by the financial institution on which it is drawn or notice is received from the credit or debit card issuer that payment will not be made, for any reason, the fees, fine, restitution, forfeiture, penalty or costs shall be treated as unpaid, and the court may pursue all available remedies to obtain payment. The clerk of the court to whom the dishonored check or credit or debit card was tendered may impose a fee of $50 or 10 percent of the value of the payment, whichever is greater, in addition to the fine and costs already imposed.

The clerk of court may refuse acceptance of checks or credit or debit cards of an individual if (i) he has been convicted of a violation of Chapter 6 (§ 18.2-168 et seq.) of Title 18.2 in which a check, credit or debit card, or credit or debit card information was used to commit the offense, (ii) he has previously tendered to the court a check which was not ultimately honored or a credit or debit card or credit or debit card information which did not ultimately result in payment by the credit or debit card issuer, (iii) authorization of payment is not given by the bank or credit or debit card issuer, (iv) the validity of the check or credit or debit card cannot be verified, or (v) the payee of the check is other than the court.

1979, c. 525; 1988, cc. 770, 852; 1990, c. 899; 1994, cc. 432, 841, 945; 1997, c. 819; 1998, cc. 720, 731; 2001, cc. 481, 501; 2009, c. 594; 2012, cc. 420, 714.

§ 19.2-353.4. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1988, cc. 770, 852.

§ 19.2-353.5. Interest on fines and costs.

A. For purposes of this section, "incarcerated" or "incarceration" means confinement in a local or regional correctional facility, juvenile correctional facility, state correctional facility, residential detention center, or facility operated pursuant to the Corrections Private Management Act (§ 53.1-261 et seq.).

B. No interest shall accrue on any fine or costs imposed in a criminal case or in a case involving a traffic infraction (i) for a period of 180 days following the date of the final judgment imposing such fine or costs; (ii) during any period the defendant is incarcerated; and (iii) for a period of 180 days following the date of the defendant's release from incarceration if the sentence includes an active term of incarceration.

C. A person who owes fines and costs on which interest has accrued during a period of incarceration may move any court in which he owes fines and costs to waive the interest that accrued on such fines and costs during such period of incarceration. Upon certification of the period of incarceration by the superintendent, warden, or other official in charge of a correctional facility on a form developed by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, such interest shall be waived.

D. In no event shall interest accrue during any period in which a fine, costs, or both a fine and costs are being paid in deferred or installment payments pursuant to an order of the court. Whenever interest on any unpaid fine or costs accrues, it shall accrue at the judgment rate of interest set forth in § 6.2-302.

1987, c. 648; 1988, cc. 106, 508; 1995, cc. 375, 566; 1996, c. 226; 2016, c. 282; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 388.

Article 4. Payment of Fines and Costs on Installment Basis, Etc.

§ 19.2-354. Authority of court to order payment of fine, costs, forfeitures, penalties or restitution in installments or upon other terms and conditions; community work in lieu of payment.

A. Any defendant convicted of a traffic infraction or a violation of any criminal law of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision thereof, or found not innocent in the case of a juvenile, who is sentenced to pay a fine, restitution, forfeiture, or penalty may pay such fine, restitution, forfeiture, or penalty and any costs that the defendant may be required to pay in deferred payments or installments. The court assessing the fine, restitution, forfeiture, or penalty and costs shall authorize the clerk to establish and approve individual deferred or installment payment agreements. If the defendant owes court-ordered restitution and enters into a deferred or installment payment agreement, any moneys collected pursuant to such agreement shall be used first to satisfy such restitution order and any collection costs associated with restitution prior to being used to satisfy any other fine, forfeiture, penalty, or cost owed, unless an order for restitution is docketed in the name of the victim or it is ordered that an assignment of the judgment to the victim be docketed. Any payment agreement authorized under this section shall be consistent with the provisions of § 19.2-354.1. The requirements set forth in § 19.2-354.1 shall be posted in the clerk's office and on the court's website, if a website is available. As a condition of every such agreement, a defendant who enters into an installment or deferred payment agreement shall promptly inform the court of any change of mailing address during the term of the agreement. If the defendant is unable to make payment within 90 days of sentencing, the court may assess a one-time fee not to exceed $10 to cover the costs of management of the defendant's account until such account is paid in full. This one-time fee shall not apply to cases in which costs are assessed pursuant to § 17.1-275.1, 17.1-275.2, 17.1-275.3, 17.1-275.4, 17.1-275.7, 17.1-275.8, or 17.1-275.9. Installment or deferred payment agreements shall include terms for payment if the defendant participates in a program as provided in subsection B or C. The court, if such sum or sums are not paid in full by the date ordered, shall proceed in accordance with § 19.2-358.

B. When a person sentenced to the Department of Corrections or a local correctional facility owes any fines, costs, forfeitures, restitution, or penalties, he shall be required as a condition of participating in any work release, home/electronic incarceration, or nonconsecutive days program as set forth in § 53.1-60, 53.1-131, 53.1-131.1, or 53.1-131.2 to either make full payment or make payments in accordance with his installment or deferred payment agreement while participating in such program. If, after the person has an installment or deferred payment agreement, the person fails to pay as ordered, his participation in the program may be terminated until all fines, costs, forfeitures, restitution, and penalties are satisfied. The Director of the Department of Corrections and any sheriff or other administrative head of any local correctional facility shall withhold such ordered payments from any amounts due to such person. Distribution of the moneys collected shall be made in the following order of priority to:

1. Meet the obligation of any judicial or administrative order to provide support and such funds shall be disbursed according to the terms of such order;

2. Pay any restitution as ordered by the court;

3. Pay any fines or costs as ordered by the court;

4. Pay travel and other such expenses made necessary by his work release employment or participation in an education or rehabilitative program, including the sums specified in § 53.1-150; and

5. Defray the offender's keep.

The balance shall be credited to the offender's account or sent to his family in an amount the offender so chooses.

The State Board of Local and Regional Jails shall promulgate regulations governing the receipt of wages paid to persons sentenced to local correctional facilities participating in such programs, the withholding of payments, and the disbursement of appropriate funds. The Director of the Department of Corrections shall prescribe rules governing the receipt of wages paid to persons sentenced to state correctional facilities participating in such programs, the withholding of payments, and the disbursement of appropriate funds.

C. The court shall establish a program and may provide an option to any person upon whom a fine and costs have been imposed to discharge all or part of the fine or costs by earning credits for the performance of community service work (i) before or after imprisonment or (ii) in accordance with the provisions of § 19.2-316.4, 53.1-59, 53.1-60, 53.1-128, 53.1-129, or 53.1-131 during imprisonment. The program shall specify the rate at which credits are earned and provide for the manner of applying earned credits against the fine or costs. The court assessing the fine or costs against a person shall inform such person of the availability of earning credit toward discharge of the fine or costs through the performance of community service work under this program and provide such person with written notice of terms and conditions of this program. The court shall have such other authority as is reasonably necessary for or incidental to carrying out this program.

D. When the court has authorized deferred payment or installment payments, the clerk shall give notice to the defendant that upon his failure to pay as ordered he may be fined or imprisoned pursuant to § 19.2-358.

E. The failure of the defendant to enter into a deferred payment or installment payment agreement with the court or the failure of the defendant to make payments as ordered by the agreement shall allow the Tax Commissioner to act in accordance with § 19.2-349 to collect all fines, costs, forfeitures, and penalties.

Code 1950, § 19.1-347.1; 1971 Ex. Sess., c. 250; 1975, c. 495; 1977, c. 585; 1982, c. 244; 1984, c. 32; 1986, c. 230; 1988, cc. 770, 852; 1994, cc. 841, 945; 1995, cc. 380, 441; 1996, c. 273; 1998, c. 831; 1999, c. 9; 2001, c. 414; 2002, c. 831; 2009, c. 741; 2012, c. 615; 2015, c. 265; 2016, c. 282; 2017, cc. 757, 802, 806; 2018, c. 61; 2020, cc. 25, 188, 759, 964, 965; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 190, 388, 393.

§ 19.2-354.1. Deferred or installment payment agreements.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Deferred payment agreement" means an agreement in which no installment payments are required and the defendant agrees to pay the full amount of the fines and costs at the end of the agreement's stated term.

"Fines and costs" means all fines, court costs, forfeitures, and penalties assessed in any case by a single court against a defendant for the commission of any crime or traffic infraction. "Fines and costs" includes restitution unless the court orders a separate payment schedule for restitution.

"Installment payment agreement" means an agreement in which the defendant agrees to make monthly or other periodic payments until the fines and costs are paid in full.

"Modified deferred payment agreement" means a deferred payment agreement in which the defendant also agrees to use best efforts to make monthly or other periodic payments.

B. The court shall give a defendant ordered to pay fines and costs written notice of the availability of deferred, modified deferred, and installment payment agreements and, if a community service program has been established, the availability of earning credit toward discharge of fines and costs through the performance of community service work. The court shall offer any defendant the opportunity to enter into a deferred payment agreement, modified deferred payment agreement, or installment payment agreement.

C. The court shall not deny a defendant the opportunity to enter into a deferred, modified deferred, or installment payment agreement solely (i) because of the category of offense for which the defendant was convicted or found not innocent, (ii) because of the total amount of all fines and costs, (iii) because the defendant previously defaulted under the terms of a payment agreement, (iv) because the fines and costs have been referred for collections pursuant to § 19.2-349, or (v) because the defendant has not established a payment history.

D. In determining the length of time to pay under a deferred, modified deferred, or installment payment agreement and the amount of the payments, a court shall take into account the defendant's financial resources and obligations, including any fines and costs owed by the defendant in other courts. In assessing the defendant's ability to pay, the court shall use a written financial statement, on a form developed by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, setting forth the defendant's financial resources and obligations or conduct an oral examination of the defendant to determine his financial resources and obligations. The length of a payment agreement and the amount of the payments shall be reasonable in light of the defendant's financial resources and obligations and shall not be based solely on the amount of fines and costs. The court may offer a payment agreement combining an initial period during which no payment of fines and costs is required followed by a period of installment payments.

E. No court shall require a defendant to make a down payment upon entering a deferred, modified deferred, or installment payment agreement, other than a subsequent payment agreement, in which case the court may require a down payment pursuant to subsection I. Nothing in this section shall prevent a defendant from voluntarily making a down payment upon entering any payment agreement.

F. All fines and costs that a defendant owes for all cases in any single court may be incorporated into one payment agreement, unless otherwise ordered by the court in specific cases. A payment agreement shall include only those outstanding fines and costs for which the limitations period set forth in § 19.2-341 has not run.

G. Any payment received within 10 days of its due date shall be considered to be timely made.

H. At any time during the duration of a payment agreement, the defendant may request a modification of the agreement in writing on a form provided by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, and the court may grant such modification based on a good faith showing of need.

I. A defendant who has defaulted on a payment agreement may petition the court for a subsequent payment agreement. In determining whether to approve the request for a subsequent payment agreement, the court shall consider any change in the defendant's circumstances. A court may require a down payment to enter into a subsequent payment agreement, provided that the down payment required to enter into a subsequent payment agreement shall not exceed (i) if the fines and costs owed are $500 or less, 10 percent of such amount or (ii) if the fines and costs owed are more than $500, five percent of such amount or $50, whichever is greater. When a defendant enters into a subsequent payment agreement, a court shall not require a defendant to establish a payment history on the subsequent payment agreement before restoring the defendant's driver's license.

2017, cc. 802, 806; 2020, cc. 964, 965; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 388.

§ 19.2-355. Petition of defendant.

(a) The court may require any defendant entering a deferred, modified deferred, or installment payment agreement to file a petition, under oath, with the court, upon a form provided by the court, setting forth the financial condition of the defendant.

(b) Such form shall be a questionnaire, and shall include, but shall not be limited to: the name and residence of the defendant; his occupation, if any; his family status and the number of persons dependent upon him; his monthly income; whether or not his dependents are employed and, if so, their approximate monthly income; his banking accounts, if any; real estate owned by the defendant, or any interest he may have in real estate; income produced therefrom; any independent income accruing to the defendant; tangible and intangible personal property owned by the defendant, or in which he may have an interest; and a statement listing the approximate indebtedness of the defendant to other persons. Such form shall also include a payment plan of the defendant. At the end of such form there shall be printed in bold face type, in a distinctive color the following: THIS STATEMENT IS MADE UNDER OATH, ANY FALSE STATEMENT OF A MATERIAL FACT TO ANY QUESTION CONTAINED HEREIN SHALL CONSTITUTE PERJURY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF § 18.2-434 OF THE CODE OF VIRGINIA. THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR PERJURY IS CONFINEMENT IN THE PENITENTIARY FOR A PERIOD OF TEN YEARS. A copy of the petition shall be retained by the defendant.

(c) If the defendant is unable to read or write, the court, or the clerk, may assist the defendant in completing the petition and require him to affix his mark thereto. The consequences of the making of a false statement shall be explained to such defendant.

Code 1950, § 19.1-347.2; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 250; 1975, c. 495; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 388.

§ 19.2-356. Payment of fine or costs as condition of probation or suspension of sentence.

If a defendant is placed on probation, or imposition or execution of sentence is suspended, or both, the court may make payment of any fine, or costs, or fine and costs, either on a certain date or on an installment basis, a condition of probation or suspension of sentence.

Code 1950, § 19.1-347.3; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 250; 1975, c. 495; 1987, c. 238.

§ 19.2-357. Requiring that defendant be of peace and good behavior until fine and costs are paid.

If a defendant is permitted to pay a fine or fine and costs on an installment basis, or under such other conditions as the court shall fix under the provisions of § 19.2-354, the court may require as a condition that the defendant be of peace and good behavior until the fine and costs are paid.

Code 1950, § 19.1-347.4; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 250; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-358. Procedure on default in deferred payment or installment payment of fine, costs, forfeiture, restitution or penalty.

A. When an individual obligated to pay a fine, costs, forfeiture, or penalty defaults in the payment or any installment payment, the court upon the motion of the Commonwealth in the case of a conviction of a violation of a state law, or attorney for a locality or for the Commonwealth in the event of a conviction of a violation of a local law or ordinance, or upon its own motion, may require him to show cause why he should not be confined in jail or fined for nonpayment. A show cause proceeding shall not be required prior to issuance of a capias if an order to appear on a date certain in the event of nonpayment was issued pursuant to subsection A of § 19.2-354 and the defendant failed to appear.

B. Following the order to show cause or following a capias issued for a defendant's failure to comply with a court order to appear issued pursuant to subsection A of § 19.2-354, unless the defendant shows that his default for the payment of fines, costs, forfeitures, or penalties was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the sentence of the court, or not attributable to a failure on his part to make a good faith effort to obtain the necessary funds for payment, or unless the defendant shows that any failure to appear was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the order of the court, the court may order the defendant confined as for a contempt for a term not to exceed sixty days or impose a fine not to exceed $500. The court may provide in its order that payment or satisfaction of the amounts in default for the payment of fines, costs, forfeitures, or penalties at any time will entitle the defendant to his release from such confinement or, after entering the order, may at any time reduce the sentence for good cause shown, including payment or satisfaction of such amounts.

C. If it appears that the default for the payment of fines, costs, forfeitures, or penalties is excusable under the standards set forth in subsection B, the court may enter an order allowing the defendant additional time for payment, reducing the amount due or of each installment, or remitting the unpaid portion in whole or in part.

D. When an individual obligated to pay restitution defaults in the payment or any installment payment, the court upon the motion of the Commonwealth in the case of a conviction of a violation of a state law, or attorney for a locality or for the Commonwealth in the event of a conviction of a violation of a local law or ordinance, or upon its own motion, may proceed in accordance with the procedures set forth in subsection E.

E. If, pursuant to subsection D or at a hearing conducted pursuant to subsection F of § 19.2-305.1, the court finds that a defendant is not in compliance with a restitution order, the court may order the defendant confined as for a contempt for a term not to exceed 60 days unless the defendant shows that his default was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the sentence of the court, or not attributable to a failure on his part to make a good faith effort to obtain the necessary funds for payment, or unless the defendant shows that any failure to appear was not attributable to an intentional refusal to obey the order of the court. The court may provide in its order that payment or satisfaction of the amounts in default at any time will entitle the defendant to his release from such confinement or, after entering the order, may at any time reduce the sentence for good cause shown, including payment or satisfaction of such amounts. If it appears that the defendant's default for the payment of restitution is excusable under the standards set forth in this subsection, the court may modify the terms for payment of restitution, except that the court may not modify the amount of restitution owed by the defendant.

F. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to alter or interfere with the collection of fines by any means authorized for the enforcement of money judgments rendered in favor of the Commonwealth or any locality within the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 19.1-347.6; 1973, c. 342; 1975, c. 495; 1977, c. 223; 1987, c. 238; 1988, cc. 770, 852; 1992, c. 485; 1994, c. 546; 2018, cc. 316, 671.

Article 5. Receipts for Fines.

§ 19.2-359. Official receipts to be given for fines.

Every officer collecting a fine, fine and costs or costs when no fine is imposed shall give an official receipt therefor to the person making the payment, and the clerk of the court shall use the official receipt in receipting to a court not of record for payments made to the clerk; and when the fine, fine and costs or costs are collected by execution, the clerk shall receipt to the officer making payment to him upon the official receipts.

Code 1950, § 19.1-348; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-360. Forms of receipts; distribution; record of disposition.

The Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall prescribe and prepare forms of official receipts for fines and distribute them to the clerks of the circuit courts and to the clerks of the district courts for their use. A record of the disposition of each receipt form shall be maintained as prescribed by the Executive Secretary.

Code 1950, § 19.1-349; 1960, c. 366; 1972, c. 97; 1975, c. 495; 1977, c. 465.

§ 19.2-361. Misuse, misappropriation or willful failure to account for fines is embezzlement.

If any officer misuse, misappropriate, or willfully fail to return or account for, a fine collected by him he shall be deemed guilty of embezzlement and shall be punished as for the embezzlement of public funds and the failure, without good cause, to produce or account for any receipt form received by him shall be prima facie evidence of his embezzlement of the amount represented thereby.

Code 1950, § 19.1-350; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

Article 6. Relief from Fines and Penalties.

§ 19.2-362. Court not to remit fine or penalty, other than fine for contempt, except as provided in § 19.2-358.

No court shall remit any fine or penalty, except for a contempt, which the court during the same term may remit either wholly or in part, and except as provided in § 19.2-358. This section shall not impair the judicial power of the court to set aside a verdict or judgment, or to grant a new trial.

Code 1950, § 19.1-351; 1960, c. 366; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 250; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-363. Authority of Governor to grant relief from fines and penalties.

The Governor shall have power, in his discretion, to remit, in whole or in part, fines and penalties, in all cases of felony or misdemeanor, after conviction, whether paid into the state treasury or not, except when judgment shall have been rendered against any person for contempt of court, for nonperformance of or disobedience to some order, decree or judgment of such court, or when the fine or penalty has been imposed by the State Corporation Commission, or when the prosecution has been carried on by the House of Delegates. The Governor may, in his discretion, remit, refund or release, in whole or in part, any forfeited recognizance or any judgment rendered thereon, provided, in the opinion of the Governor, the evidence accompanying such application warrants the granting of the relief asked for. But the provisions of the three following sections and § 19.2-368 shall be complied with as a condition precedent to such action by the Governor; provided, that when the party against whom the fine or penalty has been imposed and judgment rendered therefor has departed this life leaving a spouse or children surviving, the Governor may remit such fine or penalty upon the certificate of the judge of the circuit court of the county or city wherein such fine or penalty was imposed and judgment rendered, that to enforce the same against the estate, real or personal, of the decedent, would impose hardship upon the spouse or children. In any case when the Governor remits, in whole or in part, a fine or penalty, if the same has been paid into the state treasury, on the order of the Governor such fine or penalty or so much thereof as is remitted shall be paid by the State Treasurer, on the warrant of the Comptroller, out of the fund into which the fine or penalty was paid.

Code 1950, § 19.1-352; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-364. Petition for relief; in what court filed; notice to attorney for Commonwealth.

Such person or his personal representative, as the case may be, shall file a petition in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county or city wherein such fine or penalty was imposed, or such liability established, at least fifteen days before the term of the court at which the same is to be heard, and shall set forth the grounds upon which relief is asked. Ten days' notice thereof in writing shall be given to the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city.

Code 1950, § 19.1-353; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-365. Duties of attorney for Commonwealth upon filing of such petition.

The attorney for the Commonwealth, at or before the hearing of such petition, shall file an answer to the same. He shall cause to be summoned such witnesses and shall introduce all such testimony as may be necessary and proper to protect the interest of the Commonwealth; and the petitioner may cause to be summoned such witnesses and shall introduce all such testimony as may be necessary and proper to protect his interest.

Code 1950, § 19.1-354; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-366. Duty of court in which petition filed; certificate and opinion.

The court wherein such petition is filed shall hear all such testimony as may be offered, either by the petitioner or attorney for the Commonwealth, and after the evidence has been heard shall cause to be made out by the clerk of the court a certificate of the facts proved, and file with the same an opinion, in writing, as to the propriety of granting the relief prayed for.

Code 1950, § 19.1-355; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-367. Proceedings to be according to common law.

All proceedings had before the court under the provisions of the three preceding sections shall be according to the course of the common-law practice, except that no formal pleadings shall be necessary.

Code 1950, § 19.1-356; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.

§ 19.2-368. Course of proceeding when relief asked of the Governor.

Whenever application shall be made to the Governor by or on behalf of any person desiring to be relieved, in whole or in part, of any such fine or penalty, the petition, answer, certificate of facts, and opinion of the court provided for in §§ 19.2-364, 19.2-365 and 19.2-366, duly authenticated by the clerk of the court, shall accompany the application, which shall be in writing. In all cases in which the Governor shall remit a fine or penalty he shall issue his order to the clerk of the court by which such fine or penalty was imposed; or if such fine or penalty was imposed by a court not of record, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the judge of such court not of record holds office, and such court shall, at its next term, or immediately, if then in session, cause such order to be spread upon the law order book of its court; and the clerk of such court shall immediately, upon the receipt of such order, mark the judgment for such fine or penalty, and costs, or so much thereof as the person may have been relieved of, "remitted by the Governor," upon the Judgment Lien Docket of the court of the county or city in which it may have been recorded. The Governor shall communicate to the General Assembly at each session the particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, with his reason for remitting the same.

Code 1950, § 19.1-357; 1960, c. 366; 1975, c. 495.