Photo by cottonbro studio on

Fees are commonly imposed on a criminal defendant when he or she accepts a plea deal.  Whether the defendant pleads guilty or simply receives a CWOF, the judge will complete an “Order of Probation Conditions” (Form DC-CR-27) and write in whatever offense-specific fees the defendant may owe.

These fees include

  • Probation fee & surcharge;
  • Default warrant fee;
  • Default warrant arrest fee;
  • Fine/surfine/civil assessment;
  • Restitution;
  • Victim/witness assessment;
  • Counsel fee/contribution;
  • OUI § 24D state fee;
  • OUI victims assessment;
  • Head injury assessment/surfine;
  • Drug analysis fee; and
  • Abuse education assessment.

The judge has the ability to waive most of these fees.  Therefore, if you’re indigent and you’re expecting to resolve a criminal matter through a plea, it’s important that you ask the judge, when tendering the plea, to waive or reduce the applicable fees as much as possible.

Additionally, if you can substantiate your financial hardship (through proof of unemployment, creditor default notices, etc.), it’s in your best interest to do so.  The best method for doing this, in my opinion, is an affidavit signed by the defendant.  Any documents that the defendant has to show his or her poverty should be attached to the affidavit.