The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Fines from Drug Offenses

Reference Number: MTAS-341
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: May 09, 2016
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All fines from drug offenses must be turned over to the local government of the arresting agency. T.C.A. § 39-17-420. T.C.A. § 39-17-428(c)(1) requires that 50 percent of each fine go to the city’s General Fund and 50 percent to the city’s Drug Fund special revenue account. 

Most state courts, including General Sessions and Criminal (Circuit) Courts, allow defendants to pay their fines and court costs on the easy monthly payment plan. The law does not specify whether the court clerk is to collect the fine or the court costs first. In most cases, the clerk will apply periodic payments to court costs first and, after the court costs are satisfied, begin forwarding the payments to the city. The proper action for the city recorder is to put 50 percent of each payment in the General Fund and the remainder of each payment in the Drug Fund special revenue account. T.C.A. § 39-17-420, T.C.A. § 39-17-428.