Is DWI Probation Supervision Worse Than Prison?

October 20, 2009 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under DUI, DUI Court, Probation

By Lawrence Newman –

My job is to protect my clients. Avoiding a term of probation supervision is part of that protection. I do recognize the value of the probation department, and when it is appropriate, their services can be invaluable.

For younger people whose parents can not control them (the out of control teens) NYS has a PINS Program (Person In Need of Supervision) and pre-PINS probation program. These forms of probation are where the child reports to a probation officer who provides the child with resources, supervision, and direction (psychological counseling, drug counseling, job counseling, school counseling). I do feel that probation is a good thing for some adults as well. As an alternative to incarceration, probation supervision allows them to remain gainfully employed and get counseling for their drug/alcohol issues. Tompkins County also has a Felony Drug Court Program which is probation based, and more intense in it’s rehabilitative goals.

Where I have an issue with probation is where it is recommended or the prosecution wishes to apply it to those adults who do not have drug and/or alcohol dependence issues. Some of these people would not benefit from Court Ordered Probation Supervision. I feel in some respects it is a punishment worse than a short jail sentence.

Recently I was in Court, and was watching an attorney and his client go through a plea and sentencing for a DWI. I observed the judge tell the attorney that because of Probation his client could not now get a condtional license at the DMV. The attorney had a look of shock. What he did not know, and what he failed to tell his surprised client was that once the probation department is involved (You are ON Probation or IN Probation) they decide when and if you get your license back. Not the Court and Not the DMV.

Some of the “terms and conditions” of a three year or five year probation:

1. Report to a Probation Officer or have the Probation Officer make surprise (unannounced) visits to your home or elsewhere (perhaps your job).

2. Remain within the Jurisdiction of the Court unless granted permission to leave (No random visits to relatives or friends or potential job opportunities in other states).

3. Be available for questions from your probation officer.

4. You must receive permission (prior consent) from your Probation Officer before you move, change your job, or remain away from home past 12:00am.

5. Refrain from disreputable people or places.

6. Abstain from the use of all drugs (except by prescription), as well as the use of any intoxicating beverages (alcohol).

7. Stay away from all places where (intoxicating beverages) they are sold or served for on-premises consumption.

8. You must submit at any time without notice and without a search warrant to a search of your person, residence, vehicle, or other personal property, leased and/or owned that is not your residence and any area under your immediate control and permit seizure of any contraband.

9. You must be granted permission to obtain any type of driving privilege or license whether conditional or unconditional.

10. You may have to place an ignition interlock device on your car, and at your expense as required by the Probation department.

11. You have to submit upon request with or without prior notice to any appropriate test including breath, blood, urine or saliva for the purpose of determining the alcohol and/or drug content.

12. Undergo an evaluation for alcohol and/or substance abuse and follow through with any treatment and/or counseling recommended, including inpatient and/or aftercare treatment, and shall undergo said treatment for as long as required, all at your expense.

13. Attend and actively participate in and successfully complete counseling/treatment/educational programming/self help group as designated by Probation.

14. Not drive a car without permission of Probation. Must inform Probation of all cars owned or operated and their plate numbers.

15. Work faithfully at a suitable employment or pursue a course of study or vocational training that can lead to suitable employment. You can not quit or change employment without permission by Probation.

16. You are not allowed to own, use, or possess any guns, rifles, shotguns, stun guns, taiser, swords, ballistic knives, gravity knives, weapons, etc.

As to true understanding of the application of the Probation Department’s terms. I have had clients have to decline better employment in neighboring states. I have had client’s have to submit to liver enzyme blood screens with Probation seeking to discover weekend drug use.

In some counties, it is well known that their Probation Departments do not give permission to have a driver’s license for years. So some things can truly be worse than three or four months in prison.

Larry Newman, Ithaca DWI Lawyer http://www.ithacadwi.com http://ithacadwi.blogspot.com

607-229-5184

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lawrence_Newman

Arizona DUI Fines

September 19, 2008 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under DUI, DUI Court, Going to Court

By Peter Emerson

The rising incidences of DUIs (driving under the influence) in Arizona have prompted lawmakers to institute higher fines, making it more difficult for offenders to circumvent the consequences of their actions.

The Arizona DUI fines are now pegged at $1,450 for first-time offenders and $3,400 for second-time offenders. This includes standard fines, surcharges (amounting to 80 percent of the fines), additional $500 fine imposed on first-timers, and $1240 for repeat offenders. These additional fines were imposed in August 2005, to augment the standard fines that only covered expenses for court procedures.

The additional money goes to improvements in highway safety systems and prison housing facilities, according to Arizona lawmakers.  The Arizona Department of Public Safety is adding more police \ along highways to help deter and arrest drivers who go on the road while under the influence of alcohol and other substances.  The fines also go to “prison construction assessments,”  since every DUI offender found guilty needs to serve a mandatory prison sentence.

Note that fines actually vary depending on the gravity of the offense. First-time offenders found to have very high alcohol content in their bloodstream (.15 or more) may be asked to pay as much as $2,700.  The fines stated above are the minimum fines, and depending on the judge, an offender may be forced to pay a much higher amount. In addition to the crippling fines, DUI offenders may also lose their driver’s license and are ordered to submit to alcohol screening and drug and alcohol counseling sessions.

If you happen to be charged with DUI and cannot pay the fine upfront, you have the option of paying it over time.  Immediately consult with an experienced Arizona DUI attorney to prevent losing your license and to protect yourself from other possible fees. But the best advice is still prevention – don’t drink and drive. This way you stay safe, avoid fines and keep your record clean. [http://www.e-ArizonaDUIAttorneys.com]Arizona DUI Attorneys provides detailed information on Arizona DUI Attorneys, Arizona DUI Fines, Arizona DUI Defense, Arizona DUI Laws and more. Arizona DUI Attorneys is affiliated with [http://www.e-ArizonaDUILawyers.com]Arizona DUI Penalties.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Emerson http://EzineArticles.com/?Arizona-DUI-Fines&id=278217

Arizona DUI Penalties

September 19, 2008 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Arizona DUI Laws, DUI, DUI Court

By Peter Emerson

In case of a DUI related crime, the penalty handed down to an accused depends mainly on two factors, the type of DUI that was charged, which is dependent on the gravity of the crime or offense, and on the criminal record of the accused.

In case of being a first DUI or if the Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) is above the specified limit of .080, the sentence could be jail term of 10 consecutive days, nine of which are subject to being suspended on completion of the substance and alcohol abuse screening, counselling and treatment ordered by the court. A fine of $1475 is charged with additional amount of $250 towards the DUI abatement fund, and a suspension of the driver’s license for three months. The judge could also put the accused on probation of up to five years.

In case of a second DUI or BAC above the level of 0.080, a 90 days jail sentence is awarded, of which 60 days can be suspended based on the completion of substance and alcohol abuse screening, counselling and treatment as ordered by the court. The fine is $2675, with additional amount of $250 towards the DUI abatement fund, revoking of the driver’s licence for one year, and a possible probation period of five years. The court has the right to forfeit a vehicle belonging to the accused which he or she was driving, at time of the arrest for DUI.

In case of a first extreme DUI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher, the sentence could be jail term of 30 consecutive days of which 20 days can be suspended on completion of the substance and alcohol abuse screening, counselling and treatment ordered by the court. A fine of $2225 is charged with additional amount of $250 towards the DUI abatement fund, a suspension of the driver’s license for three months i.e. 90 days. The judge could also put the accused on probation of up to five years.

In case of a second extreme DUI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher, the sentence could be jail term of 120 days, 60 of which are subject to being suspended on completion of the substance and alcohol abuse screening, counselling and treatment ordered by the court. A fine of $2225 is charged with additional amount of $250 towards the DUI abatement fund, a suspension of the driver’s license for three months. The judge could also put the accused on probation of up to five years.

In the case of a felony DUI in the presence of a child under the age of 15, if the accused has a clean record previously, the accused will have to serve a prison term for between 4 months to 2 years. The fine slapped is up to $150,000 with a surcharge of 80 percent. The driver’s license of the accused is revoked for three years, the probation period extends up to ten years and the court has the right to seize the vehicle in which the DUI felony was committed.

For a felony DUI or a third DUI in the last sixty months, the minimum sentence to be served is 1 year to 3.75 years in prison. The fine is up to $150,000 with a surcharge of 80 percent, with the driver’s license standing revoked for three years and a possible probation of up to ten years. The punishment includes a possible forfeiture of the vehicle in which the last felony was committed. [http://www.e-ArizonaDUIAttorneys.com]Arizona DUI Attorneys provides detailed information on Arizona DUI Attorneys, Arizona DUI Fines, Arizona DUI Defense, Arizona DUI Laws and more. Arizona DUI Attorneys is affiliated with [http://www.e-ArizonaDUILawyers.com]Arizona DUI Penalties.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Peter_Emerson http://EzineArticles.com/?Arizona-DUI-Penalties&id=410239