Thanks in part to nationwide efforts of increasing awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence (DUI), most Americans are well aware that being convicted of a DUI can subject them to serious criminal penalties. From possible terms of imprisonment and community service to court-ordered classes and driver's license suspensions, punishment handed down by the court can be severe. Additionally, these criminal penalties can increase in severity when more serious circumstances are involved, including DUIs resulting in accidents and injuries or a previous DUI conviction on one's record.
While harsh and a source of serious limitations and burdens, criminal penalties are not the only repercussions convicted DUI offenders face. In fact, many people who have been convicted of a DUI state that with time and a positive attitude, these criminal consequences can be overcome. The most difficult and most enduring difficulties for many, however, come as a direct result of the financial repercussions that come with a DUI conviction. From court fines to hidden costs to ongoing expenses, financial consequences can quickly add up and can negatively impact one's economic stability, financial future, and personal well-being.
What costs can you expect?
First and foremost, DUI convictions will result in mandatory fines, not to mention additional court costs and fees. Depending on the particular charge involved and a defendant's record, these fines can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or even more. As criminal penalties handed down by the court may also include mandatory education classes and / or community service, convicted offenders will be required to pay all costs associated with the classes in order to fulfill the terms of their sentence. These costs can be significant and are a necessity.
Aside from the financial repercussions that arise directly from court orders, those convicted of a DUI will also face a number of hidden fees and expenses that they may have not been aware of in the beginning of their legal journey. One of the most prominent costs results from increased insurance premiums. Auto insurance providers will nearly always raise their rates after they discover that a policy holder has been convicted of a DUI, and these higher premiums can remain in effect for long periods of time.
For those who rely on their motor vehicle for transportation, numerous costs also lurk within the many hoops convicted offenders are forced to jump through. If the court orders a driver to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), these breathalyzers will need to be installed by and "leased" from a third party company. Drivers will have to pay installation and removal costs, and are often required to pay for mandatory, routine calibration to ensure that the devices are operating properly. Drivers with a suspended driver's license often find that they must now pay for public transportation or for rides from friends and family who may soon become burdened by having to drive them around. Upon license restoration, additional fees and costs must also be paid.
Most significantly, a DUI conviction has the potential to limit a person's employment opportunities and earning potential. Some offenders, especially those who are required to drive for work, may suffer the most extreme repercussion of losing their job. Others who attempt to find new jobs or climb new ladders of opportunity may also find that employers and schools view criminal convictions as unsavory.
Protect Your Financial Future and Secure the Representation You Need
While financial consequences may differ from case to case, there is absolutely no doubt that they exist and that they have the potential to negatively impact virtually all aspects of one's life. Legal troubles have long been a source of financial turbulence, and during times that are already economically tumultuous, facing these costs and burdens can be devastating. To put it simply, financial repercussions are among the most severe consequences one can face in the wake of a DUI conviction.
With your personal well-being, your family's well-being, and your financial future on the line, it is essential that you do everything in your power to defend yourself against the numerous consequences that come with a DUI conviction. Having spent years representing those accused of driving under the influence, our firm's legal team understands that there is much at stake in these cases – and as such, we fight tirelessly to obtain the best possible results for our clients. Learn more about the penalties you face and how a proven Atlanta DUI lawyer can be of assistance. Contact the Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub today.