In an important new ruling, the Louisiana Supreme Court decided that courts may impose cost-of-investigation and cost-of-prosecution fees on a driver guilty of DWI, even if those fees do not have a specific, direct connection to that driver’s case. The ruling, a reversal of a previous Louisiana Court of Appeal decision in favor of a driver, states that the Louisiana statutes give trial courts broad discretion in assessing such fees, as long as they are reasonable and not excessive.
The driver challenging the fees was Jesse Griffin II, whom law enforcement officers arrested in July 2011 for first-offense DWI. A little more than a year later, the driver pled guilty. He received a suspended jail sentence and probation, along with a fine. The fine was $600, plus a $100 “cost of investigation” fee, payable to the local sheriff’s office, and another $100 for the “cost of prosecution,” payable to the local District Attorney.
- Read more about Louisiana DWI related law.