State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > New-mexico > Chapter-31 > Article-12 > Section-31-12-3

31-12-3. Paying fines, fees or costs in installments; community service option.

A.     Any person sentenced to pay a fine or to pay fees and costs in any criminal proceeding against him, either in addition to or without a term of imprisonment, may in the discretion of the court be allowed to pay such fine, fees or costs in installments of such amounts, at such times and upon such conditions as the court may fix.  The defendant may also be required to serve a period of time in labor to be known as "community service" in lieu of all or part of the fine.  If unable to pay the fees or costs, he may be granted permission to perform community service in lieu of them as well.  The labor shall be meaningful, shall not be suspended or deferred and shall be of a type that benefits the public at large or any public, charitable or educational entity or institution and is consistent with Article 9, Section 14 of the constitution of New Mexico.  Any person performing community service pursuant to court order shall be immune from civil liability arising out of the community service other than for gross negligence, shall not be entitled to wages or considered an employee for any purpose and shall not be entitled to workers' compensation, unemployment or any other benefits otherwise provided by law.  Instead, a person who performs community service shall receive credit toward the fine, fees or costs at the rate of the prevailing federal hourly minimum wage. Unless otherwise provided, however, the total fine, fees and costs shall be payable forthwith.   

B.     The court may at any time revise, modify, reduce or enlarge the amount of the installment or the time and conditions fixed for payment of it.   

C.     When a defendant sentenced to pay a fine in installments or ordered to pay fees or costs defaults in payment, the court, upon motion of the prosecutor or upon its own motion, may require the defendant to show cause why his default should not be treated as contumacious and may issue a summons or a warrant of arrest for his appearance.  It shall be a defense that the defendant did not willfully refuse to obey the order of the court or that he made a good faith effort to obtain the funds required for the payment.  If the defendant's default was contumacious, the court may order him committed until the fine or a specified part of it or the fees or costs are paid. The maximum term of imprisonment for such contumacious nonpayment shall be specified in the order of commitment.   

D.     If it appears that a defendant's default in the payment of a fine, fees or costs is not contumacious, the court may allow the defendant additional time for payment, reduce the amount of the fine or of each installment, revoke the fine or the unpaid portion in whole or in part or require the defendant to perform community service in lieu of the fine, fees or costs.