Getting caught driving while under the influence can cost you in more ways that you can think. While most people understand that they may face fines, few people realize the many costs that are associated with a DUI conviction. From court costs to license reinstatement fees, a DUI can be expensive. In addition to jail time and paying hefty fines the toll that a DUI takes on one’s criminal record can be especially difficult to overcome.
First and foremost, an individual is placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances.
- An appearance or sometimes several appearances in front of a judge or magistrate will decide your fate and determine the amount of fines and costs associated with a DUI charge.
- In most cases mandatory jail time will be part of the sentence. The jail sentence may be as little as twenty four hours to a maximum of thirty days for first time offenders.
- The judge will also determine the amount of restitution (costs and fines to be paid) according to the severity of the offence. For instance, in the state California, a first time DUI offence can cost as much as $2,000 but if a child was also in the vehicle the fine can be extended to $10,000.
Towing and Impound Fees
When you are arrested for DUI, the police will arrest you and impound your car. These fees quickly add up, as impound lots charge by the day. While you are in jail or working out the details of your case, these fees get higher. Many people find that the fees can eventually become more than the actual value of the car.
Having an attorney that will help you to resolve your case quickly will allow you to save money on impound and towing fees.
Increased Insurance Premiums
When you are convicted of a DUI;
- Your insurance company will raise your insurance rates, charging you outrageous fees to insurance your car.
- As soon as you are convicted, the court will notify your insurance company and your premiums will shoot through the roof.
The best way to avoid this is to follow the traffic rules and avoid being at the driver’s seat when you are intoxicated. If at all you find yourself in this type of scenario, it works best to talk to a law firm that can work to fight against your DUI charges.
- In some cases, attorneys can fight to get you into diversion programs that help you to avoid convictions.
- This will save you money on your insurance premiums and help you to enjoy a clean driving record.
License Reinstatement Fees
When you are convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs, you will have to have your license reinstated after the term of your punishment. These fees can be quite expensive.
- Between court dates that cause you to miss work, court costs and license reinstatement fees, a DUI can be financially devastating.
- In addition to having to pay to have your license reinstated, you may have to pay additional costs to get back and forth to work and other daily errands. This may include paying for public transportation, cabs and rides from friends.
- Not having the privilege to drive at your convenience can mean unnecessary transportation expenses missed opportunities in terms of work.
Additional Costs Of A DUI Charge
- Loss of drivers license
- Ignition Interlock Device (a breathalyzer to start the ignition on one’s car)
- Alcohol and drug treatment evaluations
It’s not so easy to just put the past in the rear view mirror after paying the initial costs of a DUI.
- Most states require those charged with a DUI to report it to their employers. This in turn can have dire consequences.
- It may be possible to lose a job and even hinder future employers from hiring someone with a DUI charge on their record.
Hiring an Attorney for Your DUI Case
One of the best ways to fight against a DUI charge is to consult an experienced attorney who can fight for your rights. There are many ways that you can avoid the financial strain that often accompanies a DUI charge.
- An attorney will advocate on your behalf and work to find solutions that will help you avoid jail time and hefty fines.
- Many people have found that hiring an attorney helps to speed along their case, saving them in towing and impound fees etc.
When it comes to DUI, court costs may be the least of your expenses. Many people find it difficult to recover, as the loss of income and added expenses can cause bills to add up and destroy your credit rating.
Depending on the severity of your case, your attorney will be able to argue your case and research diversion programs that can keep you out of jail. He may also review your financial status and be able to find remedies that allow you to maintain a clean record and get relief from higher insurance premiums.