When you are convicted of DUI in Arizona or any other criminal charges, it is critical that you pay the court fines and fees on time. By not paying these or meeting the requirements of any payment arrangements, you can be required to serve jail time and may suffer even greater expense due to interest charges and other added fees. If you are facing charges, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced Arizona DUI criminal defense attorney. Such an attorney can help you throughout your case, even possibly helping you to gain lesser charges or reduced sentencing and fines.
Payment Options Do Exist for Defendants in Arizona
Arizona DUI defendants ordered to pay fines or fees can receive an option from the courts to pay the fees in increments. But the last thing you want to do is miss a payment on this plan, as you will incur stiff penalties and additional interest. Some defendants have realized that these fees can add up and quickly become unaffordable, altogether. You must do whatever is in your power to ensure your fees are paid as the court requires.
Court Fees Common in Arizona during Pre-Conviction and Sentencing
There are a multitude of fines and fees you will likely be held accountable for in Arizona court cases. When you are a defendant in a DUI or other criminal case, you may experience the following fees during the Pre-Conviction and Sentencing phases of your case:
- Public defender application fee, if you do not have a personal criminal defense attorney
- Jail fee for incarceration during pre-trial phases
- Jury fees
- Sentencing fees
- Rental costs for electronic monitoring devices
- Fines of the court with surcharges
- Restitution costs
- Court administrative costs
- Designated funds fees, such as for prison construction, libraries, etcetera
- Reimbursements for the public defender
- Reimbursements for prosecution
What Happens When You Do Not Pay Your Arizona DUI Fines
According to Arizona law, if you are found to have willfully failed to pay your DUI fines as a defendant, you can suffer the following consequences:
- Incarceration in the county jail until fines, fees, restitution, reimbursements or incarceration costs have been fully paid
- Revocation of parole, probation or community supervision with sentencing to prison as the law permits
When defendants make their “best effort” to pay their fines and fees and the court sees that this effort has been made, there may be some leniency granted. The court will measure good faith efforts in decision making, sometimes granting the following:
- Modification of the manner in which the fines, fees, restitution, reimbursements or incarceration costs must be paid
- An order ensuring compliance of the defendant in payment of his or her court-ordered fines and fees
How Arizona Payment Plans for DUI Court Fines and Fees Work
Arizona court fees can be expensive, even costing hundreds to thousands of dollars. This is why the courts often allow defendants to pay fees and fines through increments over a period of time. The City of Phoenix Court, however, requires payment in full on the day of sentencing if the defendant has the means to make such a payment. The court’s financial enforcement unit determines how the defendant must pay through a credit check, credit card availability analysis and other means. All other courts in the state tend to allow incremental payments when requested.
There are fees assessed when a payment plan is developed for DUI court fees and fines. There is no interest on the initial payment plan. But when defendants miss payments, the court may use enforcement mechanisms according to that court. There may be violation of probation hearings if payments are missed and the defendant can serve jail time if they miss scheduled payments. In some courts, the defendant can be found in contempt of court and sentenced to jail. If an account goes into collections, the court can add an 18 percent penalty beyond the amount originally due and the collection agency will add its own collection fees.
How Court Fees and Fines Can Be Paid in Arizona
Court fees can usually be paid through use of a credit card or online payments, when incremental plans have been set up. But these payments must be submitted on time or you will be completely locked out of the online payment option and will no longer be able to make the payment. You then will likely receive a violation of probation proceeding or an order to show cause, depending on the court of your case.
An option to making financial arrangements for some cases is to serve community service. This can pay off fines at the rate of $10 per hour of community service performed. This is a new option that the courts can use in some circumstances. Allowing this is somewhat rare for courts, which prefer financial payments. Restitution costs can never be paid in this manner.
Do you have DUI or criminal charges against you in Arizona?
If you have DUI or criminal charges against you in Arizona, you need the help of the DUI criminal defense lawyers of DM Cantor. The experienced attorneys of the DM Cantor will provide you with a free initial case analysis to determine whether the charges against you or associated fees can possibly be reduced or dismissed. Call 602.307.0808 for your consultation with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney now.