If you are facing a DUI charge in Illinois, then you may already be aware that your driving privileges are at stake--your license will be suspended, or even revoked, depending on the number of previous DUI convictions you have. Along with a suspension of your license, however, you may face lofty fines that can cause you severe financial hardship.
The team of criminal defense attorneys at Dolci & Weiland believe that it is critical for those who are facing DUI charges to understand the fines that they may face, along with the repercussions that may occur after nonpayment.
Fines Imposed for DUI Convictions in Illinois
The fine that you can face upon a conviction of driving under the influence depends largely on whether you have any prior DUI offenses.
Anyone who is charged with driving under the influence will face a $500 statutory assessment, along with a $750 technology fee. These fees cannot be waived, regardless of your financial circumstances.
If you have never been convicted of driving under the influence before, you may face fines as follows:
- BAC of.16 or more: mandatory minimum fine of $500
- Driving under the influence while transporting a minor: mandatory minimum fine of $1000
- Involved in a DUI-related crash while transporting a minor that caused bodily harm to the child: mandatory minimum fine of $2,500
Unsurprisingly, the fines imposed for a second DUI are higher than those given to first-time offenders. A second conviction of a DUI can result in the following fines:
- BAC of .16 or more: mandatory minimum fine of $1,250
- Driving under the influence while transporting a minor: mandatory minimum fine of $2,500
- Involved in a DUI-related crash while transporting a minor that caused bodily harm to the child: mandatory minimum fine of $5,000
BAC .16 or more: minimum fine of $2,500
Transporting a minor: minimum $25,000
Third and Subsequent Convictions in Illinois
The State of Illinois has no tolerance for those who continue to drive under the influence, and impose substantial fines on those who choose to do so. Those who are convicted of driving under the influence face the following penalties:
- BAC of .16 or more: mandatory minimum fine of $2,500 (third conviction) to $5,000 (subsequent convictions)
- Driving under the influence while transporting a minor: mandatory minimum fine of $25,000
How to Pay DUI Fines in DuPage County
If you have been issued a fine following a conviction of driving under the influence, there are several ways that you can pay the fine.
- Paying online: perhaps the easiest way to make your payment is to pay online on the website for the county where your arrest took place. If your conviction was issued in DuPage, for example, you can pay your fines by visiting the DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk's website.
- Mailing your payment: you can also mail your payment to the Clerk of Court at the courthouse in the county where your arrest took place.
- In person: you can also pay your fine in person by going to the courthouse in the county where your arrest took place. Payments are processed at the Clerk of Court's office, so you will need to find the clerk's office in order to make your payment.
What to do if You Can't Pay Your DUI Fines
While DUI-related fines can put a strain on anyone's wallet, those who are convicted of driving under the influence oftentimes find themselves in a situation where they are simply unable to pay the fines which are imposed. If you can't afford to pay the fines you are facing, there are several options that you can try:
- Ask the court for a continuance: sometimes, you can explain your financial situation to the judge who issued your fine. If you are unable to pay the fine you are facing, be sure to tell the court about your financial situation early on. Bringing documents such as pay stubs or unemployment papers which confirm your financial struggles can sometimes help your case and may convince a judge to give you extra time to pay your fine.
- Ask about community service: occasionally, a court may substitute community service hours for those who are simply unable to afford the fines imposed for driving under the influence.
- Pay small amounts frequently: if you are unable to pay your entire fine, at least try to pay some amount consistently. Steady payments of a small amount show that you are attempting to comply with the court's punishment more than paying a larger sum once and not paying again.
If you are still unable to pay the fines you were issued, it's critical to contact a criminal defense attorney who can act on your behalf. Your attorney may be able to negotiate your fine with the court and either reduce your payment or lengthen the time that you have to pay the fine.
Penalties for Non-Payment of DUI Fines in Illinois
If you have been issued a fine for driving under the influence, it's important not to take this punishment lightly or brush off your obligation to pay the fine. Unlike civil fines, DUI-related fines are a criminal punishment and are often issued in lieu of a jail sentence.
Failure to pay these fines can result in your probation being violated, which can land you in jail--especially if you were placed on probation and paying the fine was a part of your probation. In addition to the possibility of jail time, late fees and interest is sometimes applied to fines that are not paid on time.
Need Assistance with a DUI Charge? We're Here to Help
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in the state of Illinois, it's important to seek the representation you deserve from a competent team of criminal defense attorneys. At Dolci & Weiland, our lawyers are dedicated to taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients.
Don't wait until it is too late for an attorney to defend against your charge; the best time to retain an attorney is right after your charge. To speak with a member of our legal team about your DUI charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or call the office closest to you today--for our DuPage office, call (630) 261-9098, or for our downtown Chicago location, contact (312) 238-9007.