Traffic stops and traffic tickets often have far-reaching consequences for poor and marginalized communities, yet resulting fines and fees increasingly fund local court systems. This study critically explores who bears the brunt of traffic fines and fees in Nevada, historically one of the fastest growing and increasingly diverse states in the nation. Nevada is one of thirteen US states to prosecute minor traffic violations as criminal misdemeanors rather than civil infractions. Drawing on legislative histories, we find that state legislators in Nevada increased fines and fees to raise revenues. Using descriptive statistics, we analyzed 2012–2020 open arrest warrant data extracted from the Las Vegas Municipal Court and found that 83.3% of all open bench warrants were issued for traffic charges. 58.6% were for administrative infractions – vehicle registration and maintenance, no or expired license, plates, or insurance – as opposed to only 24.7% for behavioral violations such as speeding, reckless driving, and DUI. Those issued warrants for failure to pay monetary sanctions are disproportionately people who are Black and from the poorest areas in the region. Ultimately, the Nevada system of fines and fees criminalizes poverty and reinforces racial disparities.

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