SECTION 1. Section 144 of chapter 127 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the words "thirty dollars" and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- $90.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 127 is hereby further amended by striking out section 145 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 145. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Minimum wage rate” means the rate established by the minimum wage law in section 1 of chapter 151.
“Obligation” means a payment as defined in this subsection, or community service ordered pursuant to subsection (b).
“Payment” means a fine, fee, or assessment ordered by a court in connection with a criminal case, but shall not include restitution.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a court may, and upon the request of a defendant, shall, order a defendant who is a natural person to perform community service in a community service program administered or approved by the probation department of the executive office of the trial court in lieu of a payment. Such person may work off a payment by performing a number of hours of community service equal to the outstanding payment divided by the minimum wage rate.
(c) If a court imposes an obligation other than under section 87A of chapter 276, the court shall set a date certain on which the obligation is due and order the defendant to appear on that date, unless the defendant makes a full payment forthwith.
(d) The clerk shall, upon a defendant’s satisfaction of an obligation, cancel any future court appearances associated solely with that obligation.
(e) Upon the initial appearance of a defendant for failure to satisfy an obligation, the court shall: (i) if the obligation is a payment, inform the defendant in writing of the right to request an order for community service under subsection (b); (ii) inform the defendant in writing that continued failure to satisfy the obligation may result in incarceration; and (iii) set a new date certain on which the obligation is due and order the defendant to appear on that date.
(f) Upon a second or subsequent appearance of a defendant for failure to satisfy an obligation, the court shall: (i) set a new date certain on which the obligation is due and order the defendant to appear on that date; (ii) make a written finding pursuant to subsection (g) and waive the obligation; or (iii) appoint counsel to represent the defendant if the defendant meets the definition of indigency under section 2 of chapter 211D and schedule a hearing to take place in not less than 14 days nor more than 30 days, except upon good cause shown. At such hearing there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a defendant is able to satisfy the obligation. A defendant may rebut such presumption by presenting evidence, including but not limited to, evidence concerning his employment status, earning ability, financial resources, living expenses, dependent care responsibilities, transportation resources and any special circumstances that may have bearing on his ability to make a payment or perform community service. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to satisfy the obligation through either monetary payment or community service, the court shall make a written finding pursuant to subsection (g) and waive the obligation. If the court determines that the defendant has the ability to satisfy the obligation through either monetary payment, community service or both, the court may either set a new date certain on which the obligation is due and order the defendant to appear on that date or, if the court makes a written finding that the defendant’s failure to meet the obligation is willful, the court may commit the defendant pursuant to section 144.
(g) Upon a written finding that a defendant is unable to satisfy an obligation through either monetary payment or community service, the court shall waive the obligation.
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