State of Alabama
from Mobile Circuit Court (CC-15-6957; CC-15-6958;
was adjudicated a youthful offender upon pleading guilty to
four offenses. In addition to a sentence of incarceration --
which was suspended -- fines, and court costs, A.Z. paid,
upon his seeking bail, a $35 bail-bond- filing fee, pursuant
to § 12-19-311(a)(1)a, Ala. Code 1975. Upon his
disposition as a youthful offender, A.Z. was ordered to pay a
$700 bail-bond fee, pursuant to § 12-19-311(a)(1)b, Ala.
to his April 4, 2016, guilty-plea hearing, A.Z. preserved and
reserved the issues that follow for appellate
presents on appeal several claims challenging the
constitutionality of the "bail-bond-fees" statute
set forth in § 12-19-311, Ala. Code 1975.
appellate court's "'review of constitutional
challenges to legislative enactments is de novo.'"
State v. Adams, 91 So.3d 724, 732
(Ala.Crim.App.2010)(quoting Richards v. Izzi, 819
So.2d 25, 29 n.3 (Ala. 2001)).
contends that the bail-bond fee set forth in §
12-19-311(a)(1)b., Ala. Code 1975, does not apply to
youthful-offender adjudications. Paragraphs a and b of §
12-19-311(a)(1), Ala. Code 1975, assess separate costs to
obtaining a bail. Paragraph a assesses what the statute terms
as a "filing fee" of $35 "on each bond
executed." Paragraph b assesses what the statute terms a
"bail-bond fee" and is colloquially often called
"the back-end fee" because it is "imposed by
the court when the defendant appears in court for
adjudication or sentencing." § 12-19-311(e)(1),
Ala. Code 1975. A.Z. challenges paragraph b, the back-end
fee. Specifically, according to A.Z., the
"bail-bond-fees" statute explicitly states that the
fee in paragraph b applies to misdemeanors and felonies, but
the statute does not explicitly state that it applies to
"(a)(1) In addition to all other charges, costs, taxes,
or fees levied by law on bail bonds, additional fees as
detailed in ... paragraph b. shall be imposed on every bail
bond in all courts of this state.
"... The fees shall be assessed as follows:
"b. For a misdemeanor offense, a bail bond fee in the
amount of 3.5 percent of the total face value of the bail
bond or one hundred dollars ($100), whichever is greater, but
not to exceed four hundred fifty dollars ($450). For a felony
offense, a bail bond fee of 3.5 percent of the total face
value of the bail bond or one hundred fifty dollars ($150),
whichever is greater, but not to exceed seven hundred fifty
dollars ($750). Except that if a person is released on a
judicial public bail, recognizance, or signature bond,
including a bond on electronic traffic and nontraffic
citations, the fee shall be affixed at twenty-five dollars
($25). For purposes of this section, face value of bond shall
mean the bond amount set by court or other authority at
release, not the amount posted at release on bail."
asserts that a youthful-offender adjudication is not a
conviction for a crime; thus, according to A.Z., it is not a
misdemeanor or a felony. A.Z. argues that, if the legislature
had intended the bail-bond fee assessed in paragraph b to
apply to youthful offenders, it would have so stated in
paragraph b. In response, the State argues on appeal that
§ 12-19-311(a)(1) clearly states that the fee set forth
in paragraph b applies to "every bail bond in all courts
of this state, " and, according to the State, this fee
is imposed without regard to the offender's age or the
degree of culpability assigned to the criminal offense.
cites S.T.E. v. State, 954 So.2d 604
(Ala.Crim.App.2006), as support for the proposition that the
bail-bond fee does not apply to youthful offenders.
S.T.E. held that
"fees imposed by the Drug Demand Reduction Act (§
13A-12-281), and fees assessed for the Alabama Forensic
Services Trust Fund (§ 36-18-7) were held inapplicable
to a youthful-offender adjudication because neither statute
explicitly stated that the penalty or fee is to be imposed on
youthful offenders or on adjudications under the Youthful
(A.Z.'s brief, p. 10.) A.Z. argues that there is no
difference between the bail-bond fee and the Alabama Forensic
Services Trust Fund fee and that, thus, this Court should
follow S.T.E. and hold that the bail-bond fee does
not apply to youthful offenders. The State responds by
arguing that A.Z.'s reliance on S.T.E. is
misplaced because S.T.E. did not address bail or
Court concludes that the Alabama Forensic Services Trust Fund
fee, § 36-18-7, Ala. Code 1975, and the monetary penalty
imposed by the Demand Reduction Assessment Act, § 13A-
12-281, Ala. Code 1975, discussed in S.T.E. are
distinguishable from the bail-bond fee in paragraph b. Both
the Alabama Forensic Services Trust Fund fee and the Demand
Reduction Assessment Act monetary penalty are mandatory
penalties imposed in addition to other fines and penalties
following a conviction for certain drug offenses. See
Hall v. State, [Ms. CR-15-0273, July 8,
2016] So. 3d, (Ala. 2016)("[T]he demand-reduction
assessment is a 'mandatory' fine that is capable of
being waived."); Vann v. State, 880
So.2d 495, 501 (Ala.Crim.App.2003)(noting that the Alabama
Forensic Services Trust Fund "mandates that 'there
shall be imposed or assessed an additional fee of one hundred
dollars" on certain drug offenses.). Thus,
S.T.E. discusses both the Alabama Forensic Services
Trust Fund fee and the Demand Reduction Assessment Act
penalty in terms of the penal nature of those statutes, i.e.,
the imposition of additional punishment, and then states:
"'"[Penal] statutes are to reach no further in
meaning than their words."' Fuller v.
State, 257 Ala. 502, 505, 60 So.2d 202, 205 (1952).
'"'No person is to be made subject to [penal
statutes] by implication, and all doubts concerning their
interpretation are to predominate in favor of the
accused.'"' Fuller, 257 Ala. at 505, 60
So.2d at 205 (quoting Scott v. State, 152 Ala. 63,
64, 44 So. 544, 545 (1906) (quoting in turn Bishop on
Statutory Crimes § 194))."
S.T.E. v. State, 954 So.2d 604, 607-08
(Ala.Crim.App.2006). S.T.E. concludes that, as penal
statutes, "[b]ecause § 13A-12-281 and §
36-18-7 do not explicitly apply to youthful offenders, the
trial court should not have imposed either penalty on
S.T.E." S.T.E., 954 So.2d at 608.
reliance on S.T.E. is misplaced because
S.T.E. discusses penal statutes, and the nature of
the bail-bond fee in paragraph b is not penal. The bail-bond
fee is a cost associated with obtaining bail. It is not
imposed unless a defendant seeks and obtains
and the adjudication is something other than not guilty.
Thus, unlike S.T.E., A.Z. is not challenging the
application of a penal statute; thus, S.T.E. does
not control this case.
the Forensic Services Trust Fund Statute states that it
imposes "an additional fee of one hundred dollars ($100)
on any conviction in any court of the state for drug
possession, drug sale, drug trafficking, and drug
paraphernalia offense as defined in Sections 13A-12-211 to
13A-12-260, inclusive." § 36-18-7(a), Ala. Code
1975 (emphasis added). The Demand Reduction Assessment Act
also imposes an additional penalty for those defendants
"convicted of a violation" of certain drug
offenses set forth in the Act. See § 13A-12-281(a), Ala.
Code 1975 (emphasis added). Because the Demand Reduction
Assessment and the Forensic Services Fee specifically state
that they apply only to convictions, and A.Z. correctly
states that a youthful-offender adjudication is not a
conviction,  those additional assessments could not
apply following a youthful-offender adjudication.
bail-bond-fees statute in § 12-19-311(e)(1), Ala. Code
1975, states that the bail-bond fee assessed in paragraph b
is assessed when the defendant appears for adjudication:
"The fee imposed on bail bonds under paragraph b. of
subdivision (1) of subsection (a) shall be assessed to the
defendant and be imposed by the court when the defendant
appears in court for adjudication or sentencing.
(Emphasis added.) The disposition following a
youthful-offender hearing is an adjudication. The statute
does not limit its application to a conviction. It applies
equally to an adjudication. An "adjudication" is
defined as "the process of judicially deciding a
case." Black's Law Dictionary 50 (10th ed.
2014). Thus, by use of the word
"adjudication" and not "conviction, " the
bail-bond statute was drafted broadly to include youthful
contrary to A.Z.'s appellate argument that paragraph b
states that the bail-bond fee applies following a conviction,
paragraph b states that the fee applies to a
"misdemeanor offense" and to a "felony
offense." An offense is defined as a "violation of
the law" and may be a misdemeanor or a
felony. A "conviction" is defined as:
"finding someone guilty of a crime; the state of having
been proved guilty." "An adjudication of youthful
offender status is very different from conviction as an
adult, because it is not deemed a conviction of crime at
all." Gordon v. Nagle, 647 So.2d 91, 95 (Ala.
1994). "'The Youthful Offender Act is intended to
extricate persons below twenty-one years of age from the
harshness of criminal prosecution and conviction.'"
Gordon v. Nagle, 647 So.2d at 95 (quoting Raines
v. State, 294 Ala. 360, 363, 317 So.2d 559, 561 (1975)).
Use of the word "offense" in the bail-bond-fee
statute allows for a broader application than had the statute
used the word "conviction." A youth tried as a
youthful offender and found to have committed the underlying
charged criminal offense has not been convicted of a
crime. The youth is adjudicated to be a youthful offender and
is punished accordingly. In other words, a youth who is
charged with committing a misdemeanor or a felony and who is
granted youthful offender status, and is found guilty by a
trial court of committing the charged offense is not
convicted of a crime, but is adjudicated to
be a youthful offender and is punished according to the
youthful- offender statute, which has the goal of
rehabilitating the youth more than punishing the youth.
Therefore, because the bail-bond-fee statute uses the word
"offense, " rather than "conviction, "
the statute is broader in scope and encompasses
§ 12-19-313 confirms that the bail-bond fee is not
limited to "convictions." Section 12-19-313 states
that the fee in paragraph b is assessed when ...