DUIs can be incredibly costly. The problem is, most people don’t know exactly how much they will have to pay until it is too late. As a DUI attorney, I often speak with people who tell me about a negative experience they had in the past. They were arrested for DUI, took a plea without really knowing the consequences, and then got stuck with massive fines. DUI attorneys fees can also add to the economic toll.
The problem is this. On a DUI plea agreement, there is not cost breakdown. The plea agreement doesn’t typically include the figures for surcharges and jail costs. As a result, a person arrested for a first time misdemeanor DUI might think that the fines are around $1,400. But throw in the surcharges and jail costs and the amount balloons to $2,021.
It is even worse for extreme DUIs and super extreme cases. A second offense DUI surcharge can range from $994 to $1,909. Remember, this surcharge is on top of base fines that already amount to well over a thousand dollars. Jail costs, however, can explode the cost of a DUI. For example, the jail fees for a second time extreme DUI are over $9,000. A second super extreme DUI jail fees are greater than $13,000.
While most fines and fees are mandatory, jail costs can be reduced. There are some judges who will reduce the fees almost every time. There are some judges who will never reduce the fees. However, don’t believe your attorney if he guarantees that he can waive jail fees. A judge will look at every case individually. There typically has to be an economic hardship or a reason for the fees to be waived. If you make plenty of money, it might be difficult for the judge to feel sorry for you. Also be aware that if you are given home detention, you will avoid jail fees, but there will be a fee for home detention that is slightly less than jail costs. Home detention fees can typically not be waived.
The chart for all the fines and fees for DUI offenses in Arizona is long and complicated. I will attempt to summarize the fees here to the best of my ability. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our DUI attorneys at any time.
First time regular DUI Jail time: 1 day Jail Fees: 200 Total Fees: 2,0,21.50
Second time regular DUI Jail time: 30 days Jail Fees: 2,375 Total Fees: 6,154
First time extreme DUI Jail time: 30 days Jail Fees: 2,375 Total Fees: 5,446.5
Second time extreme DUI Jail time: 120 days Jail Fees: 9,125 Total Fees: 13,154
First time super-extreme DUI Jail time: 45 days Jail Fees: 3,500 Total Fees: 7,029
Second time super-extreme DUI Jail time: 180 days Jail Fees: 13,625 Total Fees: 18,569
So what is the lesson to be learned? Before you sign any paperwork, know exactly what you are getting yourself into. The total fees and fines are not all included in a DUI plea agreement. Speak with your attorney about this issue and make sure that you are informed.
DUI attorney Nick Alcock practices in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the owner of the Law Offices of Alcock and Associates.