Florida Supreme Court issues opinion that felons must pay all fines before voting


Today the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion that felons must pay all fines before their voting rights can be restored. The opinion states, “The Governor asks whether the phrase ‘all terms of sentence’ encompasses legal financial obligations (LFOs)—fines, restitution, costs, and fees—ordered by the sentencing court. We answer in the affirmative, concluding
that ‘all terms of sentence’ encompasses not just durational periods but also all LFOs imposed in conjunction with an adjudication of guilt.”

Governor DeSantis had asked the court to decide whether Amendment 4, the voter-approved initiative that restored voting right for felons, applied to just the jail sentence or also to fines, fees and restitution.

The advisory opinion is not binding.

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