Under the Influence: How Being Charged with a DUI can affect your Personal Finances

Thursday, July 2, 2015, PM | Leave Comment

Driving under the influence is not only illegal but also can severely negatively impact your personal finances. In most states, you will face a charge for everything from legal fees to fees relating directly to the suspension of your license or rehabilitation program.

It is obviously best to never drive while intoxicated, but if you are convicted of a DUI, it is best to educate yourself as soon as possible of the financial impact it may have on your life.

  • Immediate Fees

    Following a DUI conviction, most states require bail fees be paid. These range from around $100 to $3000 and vary by state. Usually states leverage fines for DUI infractions, and these will range from $300 to $1200.

    Commonly, localities will also charge for the costs of the alcohol measurement test, filing costs, impact penalty, and other miscellaneous fees.

  • Legal Fees

    Not only should you expect to pay the state-leveraged fees but also expect to pay legal fees. Keep in mind that calling a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible following the DUI charge can help you reduce other various penalties in the long-run.

    If someone was injured in a DUI-related accident, it is imperative that you hire an attorney to deal with the civil case. Your legal fees will likely be higher if you’ve had a previous conviction.

  • Costs Associated with License Suspension

    Should your license be suspended, you will have to pay upwards of $200 to apply for a new license when you have the ability to.

    However, the long-term costs of not having a license can add up quickly, especially if you live in an area without reliable public transportation.

    Many jobs require commercial driver’s licenses or background investigations, and you may be rejected for some jobs if you have had a DUI conviction.

    The lost wages due to this can add up quickly, impacting your finances for years after the conviction.

  • Higher Insurance Costs

    Following a DUI conviction, car insurance companies will place you at a much higher risk bracket and charge you significantly more for car insurance. Over time, these rates will go down, if you avoid accidents or subsequent driving-related convictions.

A DUI charge is a bears a significant cost on anyone convicted. The costs will range from around $10,000 in the short-run to perhaps over $50,000 in the long-run.

Knowing the financial costs associated with a DUI charge beforehand is likely the strongest deterrent to driving under the influence.

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