Fines in DUI Cases
Arizona is among the harshest states when it comes to its drunk driving laws. In Arizona, Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 28-1381 prohibits driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance where the person is impaired to the slightest degree or while the blood alcohol concentration is .08 or more within 2 hours of being in control of a car. If you are concerned about fines in DUI cases, and the other criminal, civil, and collateral penalties of DUIs, you can contact experienced Phoenix DUI attorney James Novak, a former prosecutor who now uses his insights to defend the accused.Penalties for DUI
There are numerous penalties that may be imposed for a DUI conviction, and added up, a DUI conviction can be very expensive. Penalties can include jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension or revocation, probation, an alcohol education class, and more. Whether it’s a first offense or a repeat offense may impact the specific penalties you can face. A driver arrested for a first drunk driving offense can also face an administrative license suspension of 90 days. It may be possible to dispute the suspension; this can be helpful because if you’re caught driving on a suspended license, another charge may be brought. You may also need to go through drug abuse or alcohol abuse counseling or in-patient treatment as required by the court or as part of a defense effort. There is a lookback period of 7 years for prior DUIs, which means a conviction remains on record for seven years, and can influence subsequent DUI criminal cases, including what fines and other penalties are imposed.Fines in DUI Cases
Repeat DUI offenses can result in greater fines. A first DUI conviction in Arizona is a Class 1 misdemeanor in which you, as a convicted defendant, could be fined $250. Additionally, you will be required to pay penalty assessments, such as a $500 penalty to be paid to the prison construction and operation fund. If you are convicted of a second drunk driving offense within 84 months, you’ll be required to pay a fine of at least $500, as well as a penalty assessment of $1250 for the prison construction and operations fund. The base fine for a third DUI is $750.
However, it’s not only repeat offenses that result in greater fines, but also more serious DUI offenses. You can be charged with an extreme DUI if you are operating a car with a blood alcohol concentration of .15. And if you’re convicted of a first offense extreme DUI, you could face $250-$2780 in fines and other penalties. In Arizona, a super extreme DUI is charged where someone’s blood alcohol concentration is at least .20 or greater. If you’re convicted of a super extreme DUI, you could face a base fine of $500. The fines for an extreme DUI or a super extreme DUI need to be paid before an assessment of $250 is also paid. An additional assessment of $1000 is to be deposited by the state treasurer in a prison construction and operations fund established by A.R.S. section 41-1651.
If you are convicted of an extreme DUI as a second DUI violation within 84 months, you’d need to pay a fine of at least $500. In the same situation where the second DUI is a super-extreme DUI, the fine is $1000. After this fine is paid, an additional assessment of $250 must be paid.Defenses
A conviction after a DUI arrest is not inevitable. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor or appeal to the court for lighter fines, and less harsh penalties all around. Sometimes, police officers are overly zealous and pull over a driver without reasonable suspicion. To follow the mandates of the Fourth Amendment, a police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing, whether that’s suspected drunk driving or another criminal violation, to pull you over. The reasonable suspicion must be articulable, not just a hunch.
To arrest you, the police officer must have probable cause to believe you were drunk driving, a higher standard than “reasonable suspicion.” A police officer’s failure to safeguard your constitutional rights may form the basis of a motion to suppress evidence. If evidence is suppressed in a DUI case, it will be more difficult for the prosecutor to meet their burden to establish a case beyond a reasonable doubt. This can make the prosecutor more amenable to negotiate a plea deal or dismiss the charges, which would mean you could avoid the fines in a DUI case.Consult a Strategic DUI Defense Attorney in Phoenix
If you were charged with a DUI in Phoenix and are concerned about fines, criminal defense lawyer James E. Novak can potentially help you prepare a defense. Mr. Novak represents defendants charged with DUIs throughout the Phoenix area including in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.