Cost and Expense of a DUI in Arizona
Is Getting a Lawyer Worth the Money?
Getting a DUI in Arizona could cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 or more before including attorney’s fees. The penalties for a DUI in Arizona will affect more than just your financial situation in life. Being convicted of a DUI means jail time and months, if not years, of your driver’s license being suspended. A DUI conviction on your record may disqualify you from employment and volunteering opportunities, as well as some housing options. If you are convicted of a felony DUI, you will lose civil liberties such as the right to vote and the right to run for public office.
That’s why it’s vital that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. An attorney may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dropped, negotiate a plea deal, or defend your case to a not guilty verdict at trial.
Costs of a DUI
Lawyer Fees. You will be appointed a public defender if you don’t hire your own attorney, but you could be ordered to reimburse the county some reasonable costs for your legal representation, typically around $800. Hiring a private DUI attorney could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8000.
Insurance. You may be required to maintain SR-22, or high risk, driver’s insurance for up to 3 years after a DUI. Drivers in Arizona can expect to see their rates at least double after a DUI conviction, or around $1,500 yearly.
Court Fees. You may be ordered to pay court fees in addition to your fines that could be anywhere from $250-$500.
Blood Test. As part of your defense, you may want to have your blood re-tested by an independent laboratory. In Arizona, on average this will cost $250.
DUI Classes. You will likely need to complete alcohol screening and driving classes after a DUI arrest. The cost will obviously increase with the more you are ordered to complete, but you can expect to spend a minimum of $300-$500 on these classes.
Fines. The minimum amount you will be fined for a first standard DUI is $1,250. The minimum fine can increase to as high as $4,250 for multiple DUIs and high-BAC DUIs. The judge may order higher fines than the applicable minimums if aggravating factors are present.
Probation Costs. If you receive probation as part of your DUI sentencing, you may need to pay anywhere from $200-$1200 in costs. You could face similar costs for any jail time you serve.
DMV Fees. After a DUI conviction, you will need to pay DMV fees for having a suspension and restrictions taken off your license. You can expect to pay around $250 in DMV fees after a DUI in Arizona.
Interlock Device. To get your driver’s license back, you may need to use an interlock device in your vehicle for anywhere from a few months to a few years. This device will be installed on your ignition and your vehicle won’t be able to start until you blow into it and test negative for alcohol. You may need to pay an installation fee of $80-$150. You will also need to pay a monthly fee of $70-$100 as long as it is installed.
Towing and Impound. In Arizona, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days if your BAC is .15 or higher at the time of arrest or you are arrested for an Aggravated DUI. In addition to any towing fee the tow company may charge, you will need to pay an administrative fee of $150 and storage fees of $15 per day ($600) before your vehicle can be returned to you. The towing company may file a claim for title to your vehicle if you don’t pick it up within 10 days of the release date.
Factors that Impact Your Total DUI Cost
All of these expenses listed above are minimums and ranges, meaning you could end up paying far more than the amount listed in each category. You may be ordered higher fines, longer community service, more hours of DUI classes, longer SR-22 coverage and interlock device use, and more if aggravating factors are present.
When a passenger under the age of 15 is in the vehicle. This will upgrade your charges from a misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. You will face 1-90 days in prison if convicted of this charge, your driver’s license will be revoked for at least three years, as well as thousands of fines and assessments.
When this is the driver’s 3rd DUI in 7 years. This will upgrade your charges to a Class 4 felony, which is more serious than a Class 6 felony. The minimum prison sentence for a Class 4 felony is four months.
When the driver already has an interlock device. This will also be a Class 4 felony.
When the driver’s license is revoked, suspended, or canceled. This is also a Class 4 felony.
When the driver is speeding or driving in another reckless manner. This won’t increase your charge to a felony, but the judge may be more inclined to order higher fines, more driving courses, etc., if your driving was posing an obvious risk to others’ safety.
When someone is injured as a result of the defendant’s driving. The driver may need to pay reparations to that person before their driver’s license can be reinstated.