Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will cost you in more ways than one. You can lose your license, your job, and even your friends, depending on how severe the incident is. One thing is for sure, a DUI conviction is going to be a financial burden. If you drive while impaired, you need to understand just how much money you may be paying for your mistake.
For a first DUI offense, you can expect to pay between $250 to $1500 in the United States, depending on where you live. In addition, you will most likely have your license suspended. Paying the fine to get your license reinstated will cost you somewhere between $250 and $500. In some states, you will pay even more. For instance, in Illinois, you can be fined up to $2500 for a DUI conviction. Your court costs will be $750, and you will be charged $250 for the towing and storage of your vehicle. You will also be charged $100 for a trauma center fund. The fines alone can cost you thousands of dollars.
Once you have been convicted of a DUI, your insurance rates may rise to five times that of a driver with an excellent driving record. You may have to file an SR-22 form with your state to prove that you have the correct amount of insurance to satisfy state requirements. You can be certain that you will pay hundreds if not thousands more in insurance coverage in the years immediately after your conviction.
If you are arrested for DUI, you are going to need expert representation. A good attorney will probably cost you between $100 and $300 an hour and require that you pay a retainer up front although some lawyers do charge flat fees for the service. A first DUI where you plead guilty and don't fight over facts may only cost between $500 -$1200. Additional DUIs or disputed charges will cost you more, up to $5000 or more depending on the specifics. The cost may seem prohibitive, but trying to navigate the court system on your own can end up costing you more in fines, lost wages, and longer license suspensions.
You will be out a significant amount of money once you are charged with a DUI due to the fines and other penalties that come your way. Hiring an experienced DUI attorney is absolutely necessary in order to minimize your losses and help get you back on track.
For a DUI attorney in your area, contact a law firm such as Chichester Law Office.