April 27, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A state audit says nearly half of the court fines and fees levied against traffic ticket and criminal offenders go uncollected, costing Virginia about $171 million each year.
The state Auditor of Public Accounts report found about $185 million is paid by offenders each year, while Virginia circuit and district courts assess a total of about $357 million annually in fines and court costs.
The audit found understaffed court clerks and local prosecutors are unable to devote more time and resources to collection efforts.
The Washington Examiner reports about 10 percent of unpaid fines involve people sent to jail who don't have the means to pay their fines.
The audit recommends the General Assembly consider establishing a statewide collection unit to go after delinquent fines and fees.