At age 15, Jason swiped someone's cellphone while he was riding on the bus. He's one of five children of a single mom. She is a pre-school teacher and has always taken pride in being able to support her family with her income.

Jason's mom was assigned a public defender to handle her son's case.

  • $300 public defender fee*
  • +
  • $250 investigation fee*
  • * based on California county data, even if the young person is found innocent.

Jason spent a month in juvenile hall. Afterwards he was fitted with a GPS ankle monitor for 120 days. The monitor allows a probation officer to track Jason's movements and make sure he doesn't go outside pre-approved places like home and school. After GPS, Jason continued on informal probation.

  • $25 daily juvenile hall fee
  • +
  • $15 daily GPS fee
  • +
  • $90 probation supervision fee x 17 *
  • * In Jason's county the average probation lasts for 17 months.

If Jason stole an iPhone 5S, he'd be on the hook for $649.

  • $649 restitution fee

Jason's mom says: "How will it affect me? The money? It's going to affect a lot. I can't pay the fee, so it's going to go on my credit. So when stuff goes on your credit, it's damage to your credit, so it's hard for you to get a place or anything like that. So I'm just like... I'm just stuck."

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Investigation Fee $250.00
Public Defender Fee $300.00
Daily Juvenile Hall Fee $25.00 x 30
Daily GPS Fee $15.00 x 120
Probation Supervision Fee $90.00 x 17
Restitution Fee $649.00
TOTAL $5,279.00

Jason's family would pay $5,279 in fines and fees. To learn more, check out our "Double-Charged" series.