Can I be charged cost of imprisonment in my criminal case? 1 Answers as of July 19, 2011

What date did the Municipality of Anchorage (State of Alaska) begin charging for "cost of imprisonment" in criminal cases? They are attempting to collect these monies (plus collection fees) for a DUI case dating back to Nov 1, 1996. Also, is there a statute of limitations in this situation?

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Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
Yes, you can be charged for the cost of your "interment" as it is now being called. One would think you had been sent to a hospital with these new easier sounding words. The cost of imprisonment is between $30-$80 a day depending on where you are placed. Presently about 7% of our population will be interred. As our legislators think up new crimes and the police seek better ways to increase their growth on the public budget, cities and states are finding ways to charge people to be in jail. The legislature years ago added fixed amounts to drunk drivers to compensate for the jail they would serve and made it mandatory that the Courts had to impose it. $270 for first DUI and $1,000 for a second and so on. In Michigan, for instance, the Department of Corrections releases a person from prison or jail and the costs are turned over to a special enforcement division to seek collection. In Alaska, it is handed off to either a municipal lawyer or the State Attorney Generals special collections unit. There are ways to stop collections, but the antidote is often worse than the snake-bite. Bankruptcy is usually where it goes, although I have heard that you can cut a deal for cash. As with any other debt, there is a statute of limitations. But you need to see if they filed liens or took any precautions to extend the judgment of costs past the 10 years of the judgment. In your situation, I would file a DEC action to declare the debt too old and argue statute of limitations and collection of any judgment. The only debt I can think of, besides the IRS, is child support that lasts more than 10 years. There has always been an argument and issues about the law that suggest the State has a perpetual judgment, but I have never accepted that argument. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/19/2011
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