Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense in California, but how much does a DUI really cost?
DUI (driving under the influence) can apply to being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. It’s a serious charge, and a DUI conviction stays on your record — counting as a prior — for 10 years.
The cost of a DUI can be substantial. There are the actual fines and fees you face, but also indirect costs such as lost wages, increased insurance premiums, revoked driver’s license, and the potential damage to your personal and/or professional reputation.
Court-Mandated Fines and Fees
The first and perhaps most obvious cost of a DUI is the fines and fees that must be paid to the court. These fines can range from $390 to $1,000 or more, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
You may also be required to pay for court-mandated alcohol education classes, ignition interlock devices, and any other programs as set forth in your specific case.
You also will incur attorney fees, which can run into thousands of dollars. Still, hiring your own criminal defense lawyer is usually the better option instead of relying on a public defender. This is because they will have more time for your case, they’ll be more vested in the outcome, they have more resources available to them, and you have a choice in just who you get to represent you.
One of the most significant costs of a DUI is increased insurance premiums. Many insurance companies will significantly increase the premiums of drivers who have been convicted of a DUI, and this increased cost can last for several years.
Revoked Driver’s License
A DUI can also lead to a suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. This can result in additional costs, such as the fee to have a license reinstated and the cost of alternative transportation.
Another indirect cost of a DUI is the cost of lost wages and work opportunity. If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked, this will prevent you from being able to drive to work or other work obligations. This can result in lost income and can make it difficult to find employment, maintain a job, or advance in a career.
Personal and Professional Reputation
A DUI also can have a lasting impact on a person’s personal and professional reputation. A DUI conviction can put a strain on relationships with friends and family, and it can make it more difficult to secure loans or advance in your chosen career.
Do You Need a DUI Attorney?
Now that you know how much a DUI can really cost, we hope you realize that hiring a DUI attorney is not something to procrastinate. It is not something to “wait and see” about. DUI is a serious charge, and you need serious help … now.
Mark Broughton is a DUI Lawyer in Fresno with 40+ years of experience, and he will fight to get you the best possible outcome. He sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy. And he believes that every person has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.
If you are facing DUI charges, call 559-691-6222 or click here to request a free consultation. We’ll get back to you right away.
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