Senate Bill No. 4
(By Senators Jenkins, Barnes, D. Hall and Green)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the Committee on the
Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §7-8-14 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to requiring defendants who are
sentenced to jail to pay the costs of incarceration; limiting
the amount to be paid to thirty days; and requiring the
sentencing court to conduct a hearing at or before sentencing
to determine the individual's ability to pay the costs.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §7-8-14 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. JAIL AND JAILER.
§7-8-14. Reimbursement for costs of incarceration.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision
to the in this code to the
contrary and in addition to any fine, cost assessment or fee
authorized or required to be imposed upon a person defendant by virtue of his or her conviction of a criminal provision of this
code, or a lawfully enacted ordinance of a political subdivision of
this state, a person defendant convicted and incarcerated in a
regional jail by virtue of said the conviction may shall, subject
to this section, be assessed the costs of up to thirty days of his
or her the defendant's incarceration.
(b) Prior to any
person defendant being required to pay the
cost of his or her incarceration pursuant to the provisions of
subsection (a) of this section, the sentencing court, at or before
sentencing, shall hold a hearing shall be held before the
sentencing court to determine his or her the defendant's ability to
pay. The court may not sentence a defendant to pay his or her
costs of incarceration unless he or she the defendant is or in the
foreseeable future will be able to pay them. In determining the
amount and method of payment of costs, the court shall take account
of the financial resources of the defendant and the nature of the
burden that payment of costs will impose.
(c) A defendant who has been sentenced to pay costs and who is
not in willful default in the payment of the costs may at any time
petition the sentencing court for remission of the payment of costs
or of any unpaid portion of the costs. If it appears to the
satisfaction of the court that payment of the amount due will
impose manifest hardship on the defendant or the defendant's family or dependents, the court may excuse payment of all or part of the
amount due in costs, or modify the method of payment.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require a court to
conduct a hearing at the time it sentences a defendant to jail to
determine the defendant's ability to pay the costs of the
defendant's incarceration. The bill requires the court to require
the defendant to pay for up to thirty days of incarceration in jail
if it finds the defendant is or will be able in the foreseeable
future to pay.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would