Although most DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, they may leave a very dark stain upon your otherwise clean record.
First, there are direct monetary outlays upfront in any DUI arrest, never mind a conviction.
Then, there are many more hidden costs, that crop up later. Second, there are invisible costs for any DUI conviction as in loss of license and possible loss of a job, promotion or future income.
A DUI conviction could also adversely affect or interrupt your military service or career. Your teaching credential or real estate license could also be placed in jeopardy.
Anyone going through a divorce or a child custody battle may find that the judge limits, curtails or even suspends your child visitation rights. This could happen whether you are charged with a DUI or convicted of the same.
- The Most Obvious DUI Related Out of Pocket Costs
- Attorney Fees—These range considerable depending on the experience of the attorney, the county and the severity of the charges.
- Bail—Where applicable, bail can normally range between $10,000 to $50,000.00 depending upon whether there was an accident, somebody was injured or killed and if the defendant is a repeat offender.
- Car Impoundment Fees—Where applicable these could range anywhere from $250.00 per day up to $500.00 per day and there could be a hold for up to thirty days. It could add up to thousands of dollars.
- Court Fines and Fees–These range considerably from county to county and in Sonoma County the fees are currently at $2,498.00 and they are expected to rise.
- DMV Mandated Program Fees—These range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending upon the length of the class that the defendant is required to take.
- The cost of Installing and Maintaining a Newly Mandated State Law, the Ignition Interlock Device (IID)—All first-time DUI offenders are given the choice to install this device or not drive at all. In addition, they must show proof the ignition interlock device had been installed. This alone can run into the thousands of dollars over a one, two or three-year period depending on the time frame imposed by the judge. Further, the embarrassment of having to blow into a machine in front of any of your clients or new girlfriend or an acquaintance is very embarrassing to say the last.
- Indirect, “Hidden Costs” After a DUI Conviction
- A Large Increase in Insurance Premiums—You may even be dropped by your carrier, but nonetheless the carrier will substantially increase your premiums thousands of dollars a year. When multiplied by several years or up to three or even five years, this could amount to over $5,000. However, our firm works with an independent insurance broker to avoid these increases—thus saving you money.
- Court Imposed Restitution If Applicable—This added burden/ cost varies depending upon whether there was an accident or if the DUI caused the damage or destruction of public property like a light pole, guardrails or private fencing, mailboxes, etc. The court will impose these restitution fees and they can amount to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the situation.
- Invisible DUI Costs
- Your Reputation and Standing in the Community Could be damaged—It is difficult to put a price tag on a damaged or harmed reputation. If you are passed up for a promotion, an award or an honor how much is that worth monetarily?
- Your Professional License Could be Adversely Affected or Even Suspended—This occurrence could seriously reduce your present and future earning power and eventually your future income.
- Child Custody or other Court Proceedings could be adversely affected by a DUI conviction— Any litigation or civil court matters for which you are currently engaged could be jeopardized. That includes child custody, and divorce. The price tag could be very high.
So, if you are ever charged with a DUI or alcohol related crime or if you think you may be convicted of a DUI you need to immediately hire a very skilled and knowledgeable attorney.
Your attorney will be able to maneuver through this costly maze to keep you from being bled to death by all the direct, indirect and hidden costs that could lead to a financial disaster or even lead to bankruptcy. Hiring the “right attorney” right from the onset makes all the difference.
Please contact us any time at our conveniently located Santa Rosa Office located at 182 Farmers Lane, Suite 100A, Santa Rosa, CA. Our main phone number is: 707 571-8600. Call us and we will have you speak with one of our attorneys immediately. “THE RIGHT ATTORNEY MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.”—Serving you since 1992.
For more info on DUI related matters in Sonoma County and how we can help, CLICK HERE.