I was charged with a OWI, plead down to an OWVI. I paid my responsibility fees, court fees, etc. However, I am now getting an invoice from the City of Novi. I understand what I did was wrong and will pay all my responsibilities. However, I feel that this recovery fee, from my research is wrong. Firstly, there was no emergency responses, I was pulled over for a malfunctioning tail light.
So I have a couple of questions,
1. How is this legal and outside of my actual court costs?
2. Is there any way I can challenge this? Obviously I can just not pay but then they are looking to try to put this on my credit. In my sense this is legalized extortion.
3. How can I as a citizen try to repel this law? I feel if I don't, we will soon be getting "extra" charges for cops handing out parking tickets.
The flip side of this argument is why should tax payers pay for arresting you?
I don't know what the law is in MI, but this is trend that is becoming very popular. They use to charge just a booking fee here in CA, now they go as far as to charge a response fee and paperwork fee.
I'm haven't decided if it is fair or not, but it's a far cry from legal extortion. As far as changing the law, if there's a law, good luck with that. Most people are anti-dui, and the thought of the defendant paying for the cops and/or emergency personal response team seems logical.
Voters love to stick it to DUI defendants.
I am licensed attorney who focuses on Serious DUI Cases such a 2nd DUIs, 3rd DUIs, 4th DUIs, and Felony DUIs and DMV hearings. I also have much experience handling car accident cases. Although the information I provide is helpful, it is not legal advice. If your case is in California or Washington, you can call me for specific legal advice on your case free of charge. Although Avvo makes it clear to consumers that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, some attorneys prefer to add their own disclaimers to answers. You can set your custom disclaimer here and it will be automatically added to your answers. Do NOT include any direct solicitations or contact information.
Many cities and towns have ordinances allowing for recovery costs of arrests. You are essentially reimbursing the tax payers for the time the officers took to pull you over and arrest you, administer the breath or chemical test, etc. It is perfectly legal as there has been no successful challenges to such ordinances. You can always contact your city councilman and ask that it be repealed but that is highly unlikely. First of all, DUIs are among the top three politically incorrect crimes that you can commit. Second, why should tax dollars have to pay for your DUI arrest.
I have challenged the police civil recovery fee in the past. The law is on the side of law enforcement however as it enables police departments to submit a civil claim for the cost of law enforcement in alcohol related traffic matters. The law has been declared valid by the Michigan Appelllate Courts & folks arrested for these offenses are liable for payment of such fees, which are considered separate from the criminal penalties imposed by the District Court.
With respect, such costs recovery laws are becoming all the rage. Politicos love them, as do their voters, as most of them will never pay those type fees. You may not like the fees existing, but in truth you'd probably having a better shot at getting the local government to increase the speed limit in local school zones than to vote out a specialized fee. New money that doesn't anger most voters simply makes politcos drool as they plan how to spend it.
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