Friday, June 22, 2012

What is the Fine for a DUI in California?

It is perhaps the first question that jumps into the mind of a person arrested and charged with a driving under the influence offense, what is this going to cost me?  Surprisingly, the fine is usually the least expensive punishment doled out upon being convicted of drunk driving.  The Law in California proscribes a base fine for a first offense DWI of $390, however, on top of the base the Court will add what are called penalties and assessments.  These additional financial costs typically cause the base fine to triple or even quadruple resulting in a typical DUI fine of about $1600 to $2000 total after everything is said and done.

The fines imposed by the Courts can often be paid over extended periods of time such as 6 months to one year.  If the person cannot pay the fine, there are alternatives.  According to one California DUI Attorney, the defendant in a criminal case can request that the fine be paid by way of community service.  In Los Angeles County the Judges will always allow the probationer to do community labor such as Cal trans work or Beach clean-up, or grafitti removal to substitute for any financial obligation.  There are limitations to this type of substitution, for example, certain assessments such as the restitution fine cannot be satidied through community service and must be paid with cash.