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Costs – jail assessment – § 302.46(1) – fine or forfeiture required

State v. Lisa A. Carter, 229 Wis. 2d 200, 598 N.W.2d 619 (Ct. App. 1999)
For Carter: Paul G. LaZotte.

Issue/Holding: The jail assessment in §§ 302.46(1) & 814.60(2)(ag) is contingent on imposition of a fine or forfeiture.

Section 814.60(2)(ag), STATS., provides that “[i]n addition to any fine imposed, a defendant shall be required to pay any … [j]ail assessment imposed by s. 302.46(1).”  Section 302.46(1), STATS., provides in relevant part:

(a) On or after October 1, 1987, if a court imposes a fine or forfeiture for a violation of state law … the court, in addition, shall impose a jail assessment in an amount of 1% of the fine or forfeiture imposed or $10, whichever is greater.  If multiple offenses are involved, the court shall determine the jail assessment on the basis of each fine or forfeiture.  If a fine or forfeiture is suspended in whole or in part, the court shall reduce the jail assessment in proportion to the suspension.[3]  [Emphasis added.]

Because the circuit court did not assess a fine or forfeiture as part of Carter’s sentence, we conclude that the imposition of a jail assessment was not authorized pursuant to § 302.46(1).  We vacate that portion of Carter’s judgment which imposes the $20 “fine.”

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