Section 8: Assessments imposed by court
Section 8. The court shall impose an assessment of no less than $90 against any person who has attained the age of seventeen years and who is convicted of a felony or against whom a finding of sufficient facts for a conviction is made on a complaint charging a felony. The court shall impose an assessment of $50 against any person who has attained the age of seventeen and who is convicted of a misdemeanor or against whom a finding of sufficient facts for a conviction is made on a complaint charging a misdemeanor. The court shall impose an assessment of $45 against any person who has attained the age of fourteen years and who is adjudicated a delinquent child or against whom a finding of sufficient facts for a finding of delinquency is made. The court shall impose an additional domestic violence prevention and victim assistance assessment of $50 for: (i) any violation of an order issued pursuant to sections 18 or 34B of chapter 208, section 32 of chapter 209, sections 3, 4 or 5 of chapter 209A or section 15 or 20 of chapter 209C; (ii) a conviction or adjudication for an act which would constitute abuse, as defined in section 1 of chapter 209A; or (iii) a violation of section 13M or 15D of chapter 265, which shall be deposited in the Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance Fund, established in section 20 of chapter 17. The court, including the clerk-magistrate, or the registrar of motor vehicles shall impose an assessment of $45 against any violator who fails to pay the scheduled civil assessment for a civil motor vehicle infraction or to request a noncriminal hearing within the twenty day period provided for in subsection (A) of section three of chapter ninety C, except where the person is required by law to exercise the right to pay before a justice. When multiple civil motor vehicle infractions arising from a single incident are charged, the total assessment shall not exceed $75; provided, however, that the total assessment against a person who has not attained seventeen years shall not exceed thirty dollars. In the discretion of the court or the clerk magistrate in the case of a civil motor vehicle infraction that has not been heard by or brought before a justice, a civil motor vehicle assessment imposed pursuant to this section which would cause the person against whom the assessment is imposed severe financial hardship, may be reduced or waived. If it is determined by a written finding of fact that an assessment, other than for a civil motor vehicle infraction imposed by this section would impose a severe financial hardship upon the person against whom the assessment is imposed, the court may waive the fee or structure a payment plan in order to ensure compliance with payment; provided, however, that the court may order a person required to pay a domestic violence prevention and victim assistance assessment to complete at least 8 hours of community service in order to satisfy such assessment, if a structured payment would continue to impose a severe financial hardship. Such a finding shall be made independently of a finding of indigency for purposes of appointing counsel. If the person is sentenced to a correctional facility in the commonwealth and the assessment has not been paid, the court shall note the assessment on the mittimus.
All such assessments made shall be collected by the court or by the registrar, as the case may be, and shall be transmitted monthly to the state treasurer. If the person convicted is sentenced to a correctional facility in the commonwealth, the superintendent or sheriff of the facility shall deduct any part or all of the monies earned or received by any inmate and held by the correctional facility, to satisfy the victim and witness assessment, and shall transmit such monies to the court monthly. The assessment from any conviction or adjudication of delinquency which is subsequently overturned on appeal shall be refunded by the court to the person whose conviction or adjudication of delinquency is overturned. Said court shall deduct such funds from the assessments transmitted to the state treasurer. Assessments pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any other fines or restitution imposed in any disposition.
When a determination of the order of priority for payments required of a defendant must be made by the court or other criminal justice system personnel required to assess and collect such fines, assessments or other payments, the victim and witness assessment and the domestic violence prevention and victim assistance assessment mandated by this section shall be the defendant's first obligation.