The Court will impose the statutory minimum fines and fees for each DUI case (or other case) admitted at the time of entering DUI Court. A defendant will have the option of paying the fines and fees at the time of plea or working out a payment plan with probation or the court. In most cases a participant will have the right to work off the fines by volunteer service or serve the fines by jail. This is calculated at the rate of 1 day (or 8 hours) for each $30 on the base fines, (therefore a $390 base fine would translate to 13 days of jail or 104 hours of volunteer service). Fees cannot be converted to VAC or jail and must be paid by cash, check or credit card. It is the goal of DUI Court that all fines and fees be paid or served prior to graduation.
In DUI Court cases involving injury to persons or damage to property, a condition of probation will be to pay restitution. The payment of restitution to victims is the highest financial priority of the Court. Where feasible, the participant will make a plan to pay restitution in full at the earliest time after his/her plea, and payment of fines, fees or costs of services follow payment of restitution. The restitution amount is normally the victims' out of pocket expenses. In addition, there may be an administrative fee added to compensate the Probation Department and/or the Victim Witness Office for the costs of investigation, correspondence, collecting and paying restitution. The decision as to how much restitution is to be paid is initially a decision made by the Probation Department or the Victim Witness Office based on their investigation. If a participant disagrees with the amount of restitution requested, he/she may request a hearing before the judge on the amount of restitution. If no hearing is requested the Court will expect payment of the amount set by Probation or Victim Witness. Money paid on behalf of a participant by an insurance company will usually reduce the restitution obligation. A willful failure to pay restitution is a potential probation violation. The Court's goal is to have restitution fully paid prior to graduation. Where there is a good faith effort to pay restitution and a payment plan to fully satisfy the restitution obligation, the Court may allow a participant to graduate while restitution is still unpaid. The Court will oversee the completion of restitution payments while the participant remains on informal probation. Probation will not be terminated and can be extended to insure payment while restitution is still unpaid.
The cost of services to participants are based on an "ability to pay" basis. This includes HCA, Probation, Public Defender costs, and other costs of treatment provided to a participant. A participant is expected to honestly participate in financial assessments required by the program, and to make his/her best efforts to pay amounts assessed by the program agencies. If a participant feels that the fees assessed are unfair or inappropriate, he or she shall have the right to appeal the assessment to the DUI Court judge within 30 days of setting the assessment. The Court's decision on this issue is final. The Court's goal is to have all costs of services fully paid prior to graduation. Where there is a good faith effort to pay the cost of services and a payment plan to fully satisfy the financial obligation, the Court may allow a participan to graduate while costs are still unpaid. The Court will oversee the completion of these payments while the participant remains on informal probation. Probation will not be terminated while these items are unpaid.
Another priority of the Court is to encourage DUI Court participants to learn CPR and Advanced First Aid so that they can render aid, if called upon to do so in the future. The court will credit 8-12 hours of VAC upon proof of completion of both CPR and Advanced First Aid. This can occur only once for each participant.