Facing Jail Time for a DUI? Did You Know You Must Pay Your Jail Fees?


Facing Jail Time for a DUI? Did You Know You Must Pay Your Jail Fees?  Arizona Lawyers
Facing Jail Time for a DUI? Did You Know You Must Pay Your Jail Fees? Arizona Lawyers

In Arizona, a person who is imprisoned for his or her DUI must also pay the state for the cost of his or her incarceration. Notably, this law allows for a judge to take into account a person’s ability to pay when determining how much, if anything, a person should pay. For how this law applies to your specific case or to learn about your DUI options in general, you should contact an Arizona criminal defense DUI attorney.

How much do I have to pay in jail fees for my DUI?

Like most other things dealing with the law, it depends. Generally, the county jail has a set rate for how much it costs to incarcerate one person, for one day. The counties set these rates annually and they vary by county. When adjudicating a DUI case, which stands for driving under the influence, a judge will determine the amount of time a person should spend in jail, if any, as a result of his or her conviction. Then, the judge will look at the county’s rates and tack on the fees to any other court costs or fees.

For example, Maricopa County where the state’s largest city, Phoenix, is located charges roughly $325 dollars for the first day of incarceration. For all days after that, Maricopa County charges about $100 per day. Therefore, someone incarcerated for a weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, will end up paying about $425 to the county for his or her jail time. This is a significant expense when considering the already-high price of a driving while under the influence charge – which can include court fees, lost license fees, and attorney’s fees, to name a few.

What if I cannot afford to pay?

If you cannot afford to pay for the cost of your jail time, it is possible that the fee can be reduced. However, the judge has complete discretion over this. If you are attempting to prove financial hardship to a judge, you need to show evidence such as bank statements and proof of any debts, as well as any other relevant information to show your inability to pay. The judge can respond to the plea in three ways:

  • reduce the payment
  • invalidate the fee altogether, or
  • determine you have the ability to pay and add the fee to other costs or fines.

Being convicted of driving under the influence is a serious enough offense – where a driver may lose his license, be required to pay fines, or serve jail time. A judge may decide that all three consequences may be appropriate. Adding to all of that, the costs of jail time can only compound the problems created by a conviction for driving under the influence.

Our firm has been successfully defending clients DUI charges throughout Phoenix, Arizona for decades, and our attorneys are available to defend you as well. If you need to speak with an attorney, call us today to schedule your free, confidential legal consultation.