They say that crime does not pay and that certainly appears to be the case in the state of Alabama due to a new house bill. HB 688 is a piece of Alabama legislature which very recently enacted sweeping increases in general court costs as well as set new fees for filing bail bonds. The bill affected many court fees as traffic cases had their court costs increased by twenty-six dollars while non-traffic misdemeanors and municipal ordinance cases had their court cost cases increased by forty dollars. Similarly, docket fees have been included for civic cases in both circuit and district courts, which is a substantial increase. On top of these court fees, the bill also increased bail bonds fees by thirty-five dollars which has many bail bondsman businesses scrambling to make changes to their pricing structure. The goal of the bill is to help support and run the various circuit courts throughout the state of Alabama which has been searching for ways to cut costs and increase revenue.

The court cost increase and the bail bond hike up went into effect June 21st of 2012 and since then citizens have been quite vocal about the increase in prices but many are praising the legislature saying that it will help the state regain some financial footing as well as save jobs. The main website for the Administrative Office of Courts proclaimed: “The consequences of this budget would have been the layoff of approximately five hundred Administrative Office of Courts and Unified Judicial System employees for the fiscal year of 2013.” The Administrative Office of Courts website continued to praise the bill for balancing budgets which just under a year ago appeared to be completely in the negative. Larry Holcomb, owner of First Choice Bail Bonds, mentioned that many of his clients have expressed annoyance over the thirty-five dollar increase for having a bondsman business post bail on behalf of an accused but he also commented, “it’s not going to come out of our pocket.”

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