Albany traffic and criminal fines will cost more - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany traffic and criminal fines will cost more

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March 4, 2008

Albany -- Traffic and criminal offenders in Albany got off easier for years because the fines have remained the same. "The Mayor's commission has not increased fines in about eight years. And we don't have a deterrent," said Chief Municipal Judge, Willie Weaver. 

"We don't have second or third offence violation. A person can commit the same fine or traffic offence repeatedly and the person will get the exact same fine."

The city commission unanimously voted to change that Tuesday. "We need to keep pace with the price of fines because you don't want people thinking that they can commit crimes here and have less of a penalty," said Mayor Pro Tem Bob Langstaff, Jr.

"People need to be told that they have to pay more money or they have to get more jail time. And right now we are not doing either," said Weaver.

With this change all fines will not only increase, but also go up every time someone commits the same offense again. "Fines are a source of revenue for this city, and we depend to much on property taxes to fund city operations," said Langstaff, Jr.

"Higher fines is a justifiable way to put more police officers on the street and is something that we need."

So the crime rate will not only decrease because of higher fines, but because of a better police presence on our streets. The city commission will look at how there current fines stack up with the surrounding area and will vote on specific changes at the end of the month.

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