So the unthinkable happens. You’re charged with a crime. You appear before the judge, plead guilty and are given a fine.
How are you going to pay that fine?
At the Kearny-Superior Justice Court like with most Justice Courts, you can make payments. Usually you are given a payment date and warned not to miss any payments. But what if it’s better to make the payment in the middle of the month instead of at the beginning?
Don’t worry. The court has a solution.
This year, the Arizona court system has enacted a new system called AJACS to help people pay their fines to the court.
Judge Larry Bravo of the Kearny-Superior Justice Court said this new system, Arizona Judicial Automated Case System, which is a case-by-case system, lets people choose what time of the month they can pay. It also reminds them to make their payments and will automatically send out summonses if those payments are missed.
“We give each defendant (the choice of) what day they would like to make a payment on,” he said. “The minimum payment is $30.”
He added that people can pay more than $30.
“If you go up higher than that, it’s up to them,” he said. “It’s how much they can afford.”
Bravo said this new system was enacted because they have a lot of fines that have been unpaid for years.
“We have cases from 2007 (that are unpaid),” he said.
The new system sends the person a summons if they have not made a payment on their fine(s) and it directs them to go see a judge and tell him why they have not made a payment.
“The system will also suspend their driver’s license,” said Bravo.
“They have to come up with the money to pay those payments,” he added, “because if not, there will be consequences.”
A warrant is then put out for the person who did not show up for their summons.
Before the new system, Bravo said offenders could do community service for whatever fine they had. That has now changed and they can only do community service for certain things.
The offender can do community service at any non-profit organization.
This new system helps the courts determine more easily whether or not an offender can pay the fines or they need to do community service.
“We put it into the computer how much they how and then we see how much they can do in community service for that offense,” Bravo said.