You find yourself in a predicament. You’ve been caught driving under the influence, and DUI fines are incoming. However you got here, there are a couple of questions you must ask yourself:
One, how much is this going to cost me? Two, where can I pay my fines? Three, am I going to end up going to jail?
Typically, your first DUI charge will end up being a misdemeanor offense. You’ll get a financial penalty (fine), community service, license suspension, and possible probation. However, if it isn’t your first, you can get jail time. Law enforcement, states, counties, and cities all cite how expensive DUI fines are. On average, without previous convictions, the fine can be $6,500.
We’ve gathered the information you need when issued a DUI fine.
DUI Fine Definition
First and foremost, what is the definition of a fine? A fine can be a criminal sanction. It is also called a penalty. However, consider your fine and penalty separately. In short, a fine is a monetary charge given to an individual(s) convicted of a crime. A fine is also given out for lesser offenses, such as a DUI.
A DUI is short for driving under the influence. This applies to any intoxicating substance, from prescription medication to illegal drugs and alcohol.
How Much Are Fines For a DUI?
If you’ve been pulled over for a DUI, you are most likely going to get a citation. Depending which state you live in, several things can happen. You could have your license suspended, face some jail time, court costs, DUI costs, and possible car insurance increases.
DUI costs, depending on the area, are nationally reported to be around $10,000. Not including attorney fees. After receiving your citation, you will most likely get the following; court-ordered fines, alcohol education, license suspension or restriction. If you get jail time, it could be 1 to 3 months, depending on where you live.
Several factors go into how severe your citation will be. Was there an accident? How high was your blood alcohol content (BAC)? Just your BAC counts heavily in determining costs, outcomes, and duration of your fines.
Can I Contest My DUI Fines?
Contesting a DUI Fine is possible. However, there must be reasonable evidence that you’ve been wrongly convicted. Law enforcement must prove probable cause for stopping someone. If there is no probable cause, your DUI case could be thrown out of court. Another reason to contest it deals with the breathalyzer test. This is a common test given for those pulled over. This test may fail court standards if;
- Improper use by a police officer.
- Participant have physical conditions (such as GERD)
- The instrument malfunctions
- Failure to observe the defendant before a test.
In some cases, contesting and beating a DUI fine is possible. Or, have it amended. However, one must weight the pros and cons of contesting the charges or pleading guilty.
How Can I Pay My Fine?
After the court has processed your fine, you might find yourself asking how to pay. Make sure to look at your ticket or your local court website for your options. It will let you know if you’re able to pay your fine online, through the mail, or in person. These costs vary depending on what state you live in.
Pay Fines by Mail
If you are paying your fine by mail, there are a couple ways of sending it in. You can use a money order, but usually, you can’t always pay with a personal check. It is also possible to use a cashier’s check. It’s never a good idea to mail cash, in case that your mail gets lost. After the check or money order is in the mail, you will receive a receipt in the mail. You will also get a bond card or license back with it. Keep all of this for two years as it has information concerning traffic schooling on it.
Pay Fines Online
To pay your fines online all you need to do is go to the web address the court gave you — if applicable. You are able to use your debit or credit card for this. The online systems are there to help you resolve your charges and tickets. The sites are easy to navigate with several options to choose from. Just click on the link you need. You will then be directed to another page that will tell you how much said fine will be.
Pay My Fine in Person
You can pay your DUI fine at the County Clerks office or a collections office within the court system. Your judge will set a specific date for payment. This means you will have some time for saving up. You are able to pay with cash, check or money order.
If getting a DUI results in the loss of a job, a judge may set another court date. You, or your attorney, then explain to the judge the reason for not meeting that date. If this is the case, the judge may switch to an alternative way of paying the fine. It depends on the length of time you initially got for paying off your fine.
Just remember, getting fines is a hassle, no matter the situation. The process of getting a DUI fine can change your future. Whether you’re getting pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you’re bound to pay a lot of money. Is it really worth it to get behind the wheel?
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