In New York when an offender commits a sexually related offense, he or she is charged a fee that is designed to defray some of the costs that are incurred by the courts for the prosecution of their case. The surcharge is usually $200.00 plus a victim fee of $10.00. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said that some offenders are entitled to request that the court defer their surcharge if they can show that it will pose an undue hardship to them or their families. However, anyone who is charged with a crime that requires that they serve more than 60 days in jail are determined to not be able to defray the surcharge. The money is removed from their inmate pay for work that they perform while they are incarcerated. It is therefore, not considered to pose an undue burden to them to pay it.
Even if the charge is deferred, the offender will be expected to repay the fee, it only postpones the debt until a time when the offender is more capable of repaying the debt. The court has also ruled that it is not practical to file a motion to defer this payment until an offender has completed the term of his sentence. In other words, if a person has committed a sexually based offense and is convicted, he is responsible to pay this debt to the state. If he files to have the debt deferred before he has completed his prison sentence, it will be denied as a premature request. It is not considered to be an undue burden on a person who is incarcerated. A Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer said it can only be deferred if a person demonstrates that the cost of the debt is an undue burden on the offender after they have been released from incarceration and are actively attempting to support themselves or their families.
On July 10, 2003, an offender in Kings County, New York, was convicted of attempted burglary in the second degree. He filed a motion on March 24, 2007, to defer payment of the surcharge because he stated that it was posing an undue hardship on his family. He was sentenced upon his conviction of five years to serve, then five years on parole. He contends that he is not working while in prison and receives no prison wages. He stated that he does not have a means of income or property and that he is indigent. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the prosecution argued against his deferral of the payment. They contend that he committed the crime and that he is sentenced. He will be incarcerated for five years and then on parole for five years. To grant his request to defer payment would be an injustice to the citizens of the state and to the victim. The intent of the surcharge is to help the courts defray the costs that this offender created when he violated the crimes of this state. He is not entitled to defer the surcharge as it is an important way to insure that offenders are made responsible for their actions.
The court reviewed the application and the code section that it refers to, Penal Law §60.30. They determined that because the language of the statute says that a person must be serving a term under 60 days to gain the right to request deferment. This interpretation by the trial court limiting the ability to apply for deferment to persons serving sentences less than 60 days is not the same interpretation that the Supreme Court reads into the statute. However, the Supreme Court has determined that anyone who applies for deferment while they are incarcerated is doing so prematurely and the motion must be dismissed.Since, the request for deferment was filed before he was released from prison, the court ruled that it was filed prematurely and denied his request.
At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, their legal team are ready to help you in several convenient offices located throughout the New York area. Our New York Sex Crimes Attorneys will fight for your rights in the event that you need representation.