Oklahoma City Municipal Court sent out letters warning people to pay their fines or lose their license. Millions of dollars in jail fees are owed to the city.
Every defendant booked into the Oklahoma County Jail is fined $117 for one night's stay. The ordinance was established in 2006 to help the city recover some of the cost associated with housing inmates.
Since the law went into effect, the city has collected $3.2 million, a number that should be doubled. Stacey Davis, municipal court administrator for Oklahoma City explained, not every defendant pays the jail recovery fee because they are homeless, pass away, or sent to a prison.
Davis said some defendants ignore the notification. An inmate receives warnings about the fees when bonding out of jail and at time of conviction.
"Those that are outstanding now that we believe could pay, we will catch at some point," Davis said.
During the 2012-13 fiscal year, 12,743 defendants were billed for their jail stay, but only 3,165 satisfied the obligation.
"It is like anything else. If you don't deal with your business, it's going to deal with you," Davis explained.
And those unpaid fees could result in a defendant losing their license. Notifications are routinely being sent out to defendants.