Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs)

What are LFOs?  close up of a pen filling in a blank check
LFOs consist of restitution fines and non-restitution fines.

  • Restitution consists of those costs imposed on you by the court to compensate victims who were either injured by you as the result of your offense or who suffered loss of or damage to property as a result of your offense.
  • Non-restitution LFOs consist of the fees and fines that the court imposed upon you—basically anything that is not restitution. The most common fees and fines are the $500 victim penalty assessment and the DNA database fee. Court costs, costs of defense, and the criminal filing fee are three other fees that the court generally imposes.

Interest Accrues on all LFOs:

  • Interest accrues on LFOs from the date of the judgment and during the entire period of incarceration. For felonies the interest rate is 12% annually.

LFO Services We Offer:

  • We can ask the courts to waive the interest that has accrued on non-restitution LFOs, either while you were incarcerated or after you were released
  • We can ask the courts to reduce interest that has accrued on restitution.
  • We can help you determine if your LFOs will ever expire.
  • We can help you create a realistic, long-term budgeting strategy that allows you to make payments on your LFOs and avoid sanctions for nonpayment.

How To Request Assistance:

  1. Call us at 509-835-5211  and ask for an “LFO Intake.”
  2. For each offense that you want LFO assistance for, you need to bring a copy of your Judgment and Sentence, (and all attachments/exhibits), as well as your Case Financial History. To get a copy of your J&S, go to clerk of the court where you were sentenced. You will need photo ID. To get a Case Financial History, go to the accounting department in the court clerk’s office. Also, bring anything else you believe is relevant to your LFOs.
  3. We will first gather information over the phone or during an in-person appointment to determine whether we can help you. This will depend on whether you qualify under state law for relief and whether we have the resources at that time to assist you.
  4. Please note that we do not and cannot guarantee results.

How much does it cost?

We charge $200 for most LFO services, though we do offer a sliding scale based on income.

For more information:
Washington Law Help
ACLU Report: Modern Day Debtors Prison