When you’re charged with a DUI, it’s normal to worry about what potential costs you’ll incur. There are a few different types of costs that you could end up seeing, though it’s important to realize that not everyone will end up with all of these. If you hire an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, that attorney may be able to get your charges significantly reduced or possibly even thrown out. If that happens, the burden placed on you–financially and emotionally–will be greatly reduced or may even disappear. And even if you do end up getting convicted, there are payment options to make the fees less catastrophic.
Before you know if that’s a possibility, however, it’s good to know what you might be facing if you are indeed convicted. The possible costs associated with a DUI conviction are as follows:
- Court Fine
- Alcohol Program
- Car Insurance
- Other Potential Costs
1. Court Fine
Individuals convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles are usually slapped with some sort of court fine, which generally includes penalty assessments. For a first time offender, the maximum fine is one thousand dollars ($1,000), but this number rapidly increases if you have a previous conviction.
2. Alcohol Program
It’s not uncommon for one convicted of a DUI in Southern California to be ordered to attend some type of alcohol school for a minimum of six weeks. This period can increase significantly, to a requirement of multiple years, if this isn’t the convicted individual’s first offense. The cost for such programs is in the range of four hundred fifty dollars ($450).
In some cases, judges will order that an Interlock be installed in your car when you get your license back. This is a device that requires you to blow into it before driving to ensure that you have not been drinking. The cost for this is approximately five hundred dollars ($500), though it can be more if this isn’t your first offense.
4. Car Insurance
When you’ve been convicted of a DUI, your car insurance premiums increase. This increase could end up costing you two thousand dollars ($2000) or more per year for at least three years. Some insurance companies may raise their rates more than others, so it may not hurt to shop around, but you will ultimately see some sort of increase in your premium.
5. Other Potential Costs
A DUI conviction can also lead to miscellaneous costs in other areas of your life, such as with jobs, school, loans and traveling. This is especially true, for example, for those with jobs that require you to have a driver’s license and/or a clear driving record, such as truck or cab drivers. Depending on what you do for a living, these miscellaneous costs could really add up quickly.
Remember, however, that an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney can help. Lawyers experienced in this area will be able to quickly assess your situation and have an idea of where you’ll stand in court. They understand the system and know how to aggressively advocate for you in an effective manner, and they may be able to get your charge reduced or even dropped.
Know, though, that even if you do get convicted of a DUI and face all or some of the costs noted above, you do have options. Many of these fees can be worked out in monthly installment plans so that you’ll be able to afford them and pay for everything. A DUI conviction doesn’t have to break your bank.
Contact us to discuss your case with Los Angeles DUI lawyer Jon Artz.