Although Florida voters passed Amendment 4 that restores the right for
ex-felons to finally vote in Florida, the House passed the Voting Rights
Restoration Act in early May, requiring these individuals to pay all financial
obligations before they can register to vote.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to sign the bill in the coming days.
If signed, ex-felons must pay back fines, restitution, and other court-ordered
fees in order to regain their voting rights. However, the bill doesn’t
require ex-felons to pay for fees accrued after sentencing.
The main issue is that these court-ordered fees and fines are substantially
expensive, ranging between a couple hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.
Since ex-felons experience trouble finding employment, paying these fees
is extremely difficult.
Additionally, the Brenner Center says that when if a Florida court charge
is not paid within 90 days, it will be referred to a private debt collector,
who can add up to 40 percent in surcharges on a court debt.
Back in November, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, which makes as many
as 1.4 million Florida residents eligible to vote once they complete all
terms of their sentence, including probation or parole. The law doesn’t
apply to ex-felons convicted of murder or a felony sex crime.
For more information about Florida criminal laws,
contact the Law Offices of Robert Stepniak at (386) 868-4771 today and schedule a free consultation.