ALBANY, GA (WALB) - People convicted of crimes in Albany-Dougherty County municipal court may soon get hit with higher fines.
Albany city commissioners voted to increase the fines in municipal court to a maximum of $1,000 -- the highest allowed under state law.
City Attorney Nathan Davis said the move would give municipal court judges more authority to impose a higher fine than the present charter.
Right now, it states the judge can fine an offender up to $500. But there are some offenses like a DUI that carry special fines.
Judges hope the higher fine will deter repeat offenders.
"Another item in the toolkit, it will just give judges the ability to exercise discretion for a particularly heinous or egregious matter, that's the idea behind it," Davis said.
Albany city leaders will notify residents of the higher fine by placing an ad in the newspaper so they can comment.
Based on the feedback, city commissioners will have to vote again to approve the higher fine at the next meeting in October for the change to go into effect.
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