The economic effects of DUI (driving under the influence) arrests and convictions are more damning than most people think. The total economic effect of a typical DUI conviction can easily reach dozens of thousands of dollars. Here are some of the individual elements that may add up to that figure:
The DUI costs start piling up from the moment you are arrested. For example, your car will be impounded after your arrest, and you will be charged for the towing charges. Towing costs depend on your area as well as the towing distance.
Fines and Penalties
This is the most obvious DUI cost; almost every conviction will attract a monetary fine. The amount of the fine depends on different factors such as your DUI history (subsequent convictions attract higher fines than a first conviction), the severity of the offense (was someone injured), and state laws. For example, these costs will add up to $1,800 in California for a first time DUI offense with no injury or death.
You will also need to spend some dollars to defend yourself. The legal fees also vary by area, the severity of charges, and the state of the evidence the prosecution has against you, among other things. Expect to spend up to $1,500 if the case doesn't go to trial, but the figure can be as high as $25,000 if the case goes to trial.
Administrative Hearing Costs
Some states hold separate administrative hearings separate from the criminal hearings, and they charge for them. The administrative hearing is held by the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine whether you should keep your driving privileges; this is where your driving license may be suspended. The cost is usually in the range of hundreds of dollars.
You may also be required to complete an alcohol education class, which states order to prevent repeat DUI offenses. Of course, you also have to pay for the classes. The costs depend on whether it's your first DUI class or a subsequent one, as well as the state.
Increased Insurance Rates
DUIs cause accidents and accidents cost insurance companies money; this is why auto insurance companies hate DUIs. Anybody who has ever had a DUI conviction will tell you that there auto insurance rates experienced a hike after that.
The above are just a few examples of how a DUI arrest and conviction may cost you in financial terms. This means you ought to do everything in your power to get rid of your charges as early as possible. For more information, talk with an attorney like those at The Fitzpatrick Law Firm.Share