Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the calculator created?
- To assist decision makers and advocates in understanding the complexities of LFOs and
- To help them navigate what must be considered before LFOs are imposed.
Courts will be able to immediately understand at the time of sentencing what the monthly payments must be in order to pay off the LFOs in a reasonable amount of time and how that corresponds with a person’s ability to pay.
Who can use the LFO Calculator?
Anyone. The calculator was designed with the end user to be Washington State judges. However, defense attorneys and prosecutors who practice in Washington State are also encouraged to use the calculator to prepare their sentencing recommendations to the court.
Does the calculator take away judicial discretion?
No. The calculator is designed to assist judges in what they are already required to do — determine a person’s ability to pay LFOs and understand when LFOs can be imposed. The ultimate decision of what should be imposed at sentencing is up to the judge. The calculator was designed to reflect current statutes and judicial practice, it does not replace the authority of statutes or case law that address LFOs.
Is the calculator tracking my information?
No. The calculator does not ask for a defendant’s name, case number, name of court, or any other identification. For analytics purposes, we ask that users select an occupation in the first step of the calculator to understand how it is being used. The data collected is not associated with any individual or court.
How do I share feedback on the LFO Calculator?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I find a crime in the calculator?
- Enter a keyword in the name of crime or RCW (use roman numerals for degree of crime). Common acronyms are recognized (i.e. DWLS, DUI). All crimes with the key word will appear in dropdown list.
- Select from dropdown list BEFORE hitting “ENTER” or “NEXT.” (Otherwise correct LFOs may not appear.)
Note that if LFOs are not different between a crime and the attempted version of that crime, both crimes will be listed together in the dropdown list.
What if the case has multiple charges?
The LFO supports multiple charges; as many as you choose. The calculator assumes that the charges you add are all part of the same cause number.
What about older DUI/Physical Control cases?
The calculator has incorporated the proper LFOs related to the date of violation. The calculator will automatically default to the present; use the dropdown selection to select earlier time periods.
Please note that the LFOs for DUI/Physical Control crimes with a date of violation between July 22, 2001 to July 26, 2003 shown on the previously published DUI historical grid are wrong. The calculator has corrected these LFOs and confirmed the corrected numbers with Administrative Office of the Courts.
Can defense attorneys use the LFO Calculator prior to appearing?
Yes. Defense attorneys have a couple of options:
- Fill out the form, print it, and submit it for the sentencing hearing as their recommendation regarding LFOs.
- Fill out the form, submit it, and copy the URL from the final page and email the URL to the Court and Prosecutor as their recommended sentence regarding LFOs. (The judge can then go to the URL, change the user to “Judge” and make any necessary changes without having to retype/enter all the information.)
Can the calculator remember my preferences so I don’t have to re-enter them every time?
As long as you are using the same browser and device to access the LFO Calculator, it will remember preferences such as type of user, probation fees, rate of community service credits and which LFOs you have chosen to “collapse” because it is not one you commonly impose. Selecting “RESET” on the final page of the LFO Calculator will clear all your preferences.