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If I do the maximum on my DUI case, can I also get a fine?

Petaluma, CA |

I did a one year sentence on a DUI. ("second" DUI...but seven over twenty five years on my record) I did the maximum sentence because I knew I wouldn't get through the classes and all that BS of being on probation, ect. Now, a year after I finished my sentence, I've got a bill for 2,500$ in fines! I thought, by doing "the maximum" sentence, fines would not be included. What's the deal with this? Is it possilbe I owe fines?

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Attorney answers 8


It is possible that you still owe the fines. A maximum jail sentence only satisfies the jail time issue, and likely means you wouldn't be placed on probation. (Hard to say without knowing more information.) You have to specifically ask that the fines be converted to jail time. That converts to a day in jail for every $30 of the base fine. For a typical minimum fine of "$390 plus penalty assessments", that is 13 days in jail. You still will have to pay a couple hundred dollars for "other" fees and fines that can't be converted however.

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Yes, but this shouldn't have happened. You should have refused probation. If you did not refuse probation, you could have been given 3-5 years of probation, ordered to do classes, and pay a fine. Had you refused probation, you would have been given jail only. Now the court can violate your probation for failure to pay fines and punish you by increasing the fine amount to the statutory max. of $1,000+penalty assessments (the $2.5k is ~$390+p.a.). Good news: they can't put you back in jail. The fines will eventually be sold or outsourced to a collection company that will ding your credit over and over.


Who is the bill from? The court, the CHP or the County for response services? If it is from the court, look at your plea bargain to make sure it was not included in the plea.



The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.


The statute says "jail and/or fines". Check your plea agreement. It is very possible you have to do both.

Any information provided through in response to a question is not, and cannot be considered a formation of any Attorney-Client relationship. Questioner understands that the nature of this system allows only for a cursory review of case information, and more detailed information should not be divulged in this public forum. As such, Questioner is recommended to contact an Attorney in order to discuss the full details of their case and a more specific advisement of potential rights and liabilities.


You obviously agreed to probation- so that is why there was- fine. My colleagues have explained the reasoning behind this .



You should go back and ask the court to give you credit for the time you
spent in jail against the fine


If your lawyer had the fines converted to CJ time at time of plea, then it should have been converted. These could be attorney's fees if you had a trial, I don't know enough about your case to give an informed response. It could also be restitution if it was a car accident which is NOT convertible. You need to go back to the court and ask the clerk at the clerk's office of the courthouse what exactly the fines are for. Or call your former lawyer or public defender. LAW OFFICES OF VICTORIA CLEMANS

This is a general statement regarding law and facts and should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship or a solicitation for same.

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