New Law Makes Criminals Pay for Investigative Costs
March 18, 2010

Contact Jan Schaefer
Public Information Officer
[email protected]

Jackson, Miss,- Criminals convicted of a felony can now be ordered to
reimburse the investigating agency under a new law that Attorney General
Jim Hood called “a milestone for law enforcement.”

House Bill 733 allows a court to impose an assessment against a
defendant convicted of a felony violation investigated by sheriffs
departments, municipal police departments, district attorneys offices,
the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Attorney
General, which may cover all reasonable costs of the investigation.

“This new law creates a user fee for criminals to pay,” said Attorney
General Jim Hood. “It will help law enforcement agencies and district
attorneys off set budget cuts. Judges can include in sentencing orders
a requirement that felons pay investigative costs to the investigating
and/or prosecuting agencies. Just last year our office paid victims
through the Crime Victim Compensation Division $3.5 million that
convicts were ordered to pay into the fund. They can pay a similar
amount to law enforcement.”

Costs include, but are not limited to: the cost of investigators,
service of process, court reporters, expert witnesses and attorney’s
fees, and transportation costs expended by the governmental entity in
the investigation of such a case.