New Orleans Court Issued Fines Biased for Wealthy

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 in Courts, Local Issues

Two national reports have found that the fines imposed by New Orleans courts are unfair to the underprivileged. The courts have been accused of issuing “pay or stay” sentences which force the defendant to pay a fine or serve jail time. In many cases where more affluent defendants walk free, those without the means to pay are detained from finding employment or returning to work. This makes it difficult for indigent defendants to get back on track as they must put their lives on hold to serve jail time.

The case is complicated by the fact that these fines make up a large percentage of the funding for the court and offices within the court. Both The American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice feel that a perverse incentive has been created to issue fines. The judges have countered by claiming they offer community service as an alternative to both fees and jail time. In a recent count from the sheriff’s office, 122 people were jailed for municipal offenses.

The treatment of our underprivileged has shown that corruption and judicial bias are everyday threats in the legal system. In order to ensure you are not taken advantage of, it is important to hire legal council that will defend your rights. We at Bloom Legal have the legal experience and expertise to navigate court proceedings and ensure your experience is as painless as possible. Contact Bloom Legal today at 504-599-9997 to discuss how we can help fight for you.

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