How Much Will A DUI Conviction Cost You?
No matter how many times you hear that a conviction for driving under the influence has serious consequences, it is unlikely that you can really understand the total costs until you see them laid out in detail. A DUI conviction is no slap on the wrist, financially or emotionally. Here's exactly what you have to lose if you get caught drinking and driving:
Typically, the cost of bail is set by the judge and is based on your DUI record, criminal history, whether you may have caused injury to others, and how many ties you have to the community around you. Bail could cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.
Vehicle Towing & Impound
When you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI, your car is typically towed from the location and impounded. You may have to pay close to $700 just to receive your car back if you reside in California.
Increase in Auto Insurance
Increases in auto insurance differ from company to company. In some cases, a car insurance company will simply drop you entirely. You must then look for an insurance company who will insure you once you get your driver's license again. This can be difficult, as many companies will consider you to be a liability.
The fines associated with a DUI will differ from state to state, and sometimes even city to city. A first offense could cost as much as $1,500 in court costs alone, and this is in a scenario assuming you have caused no damage to persons or property.
Lost Wages for Jail Time or Community Service
When you are arrested, you may be unable to make it to work. This applies even more if you are sentenced to jail time for your offense or if you must perform community service during times you would ordinarily be at work.
Following a conviction or in lieu of jail time, you may be sentenced to traffic school. These classes cost money. In California, you could spend as much as $650 on these sessions.
Vehicle Monitoring Devices & Ignition Locks
You may be required to install an ignition lock or monitoring device in your car following a DUI conviction. This calls for you to pay an installation fee as well as a monthly rental fee.
Reinstatement of Driver's License
Once you have completed the process and are eligible to receive your driver's license again, you must pay for the privilege. This fee is typically just $100, according to the California court system.
What does this mean for you? For starters, it means that you should always hire a lawyer to help you fight your DUI charges in court. You will be spending money on legal fees, but you may be able to avoid the additional costs that come with a conviction. Click for more information.