While a DUI charge may seem inconsequential, it can have an enormous impact not only on your financial state but on your future as well. Here you’ll learn about the costs of a DUI — the dollars and cents, and more importantly, the legal and relational ramifications that follow such a charge. Understanding what’s involved in the process will also help you search for a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney should you find yourself charged with driving under the influence.
The biggest question in most people’s minds is the financial aspect of a DUI charge. Unfortunately, there are several fees associated, which can rack up to a heavy expense. For a first offense, you can face a bond expense, court fine, court costs, restitution, increased insurance costs, and other associated fees which can easily run thousands of dollars. Additionally, your car may be towed at your arrest, meaning you’ll need to pay a fee to retrieve it. Then, if you choose to hire a criminal defense attorney, the fees can vary widely depending on the attorney and the facts of the case. This means that even in a best case scenario, your DUI can require you to shell out a significant amount of money for what may have seemed like a minor mistake.
Though the short-term costs are of significant concern, a DUI has many other consequences that can go with it. In Kansas, there is a 48-hour minimum mandatory imprisonment period for a first offense, which can stretch to 30 days if there were minors under age 14 in the vehicle. Your license can also be suspended for a minimum of 30 days or longer depending on the level of impairment, whether or not you refused blood, breathe, or urine testing, and how many DUIs you have on your record.
Insurance and Licensing Issues
Even after you’ve sorted out the legal aspect of your conviction, there’s still the insurance companies to reckon with. You can expect a hike in your rates, anywhere from 30 to 200 percent. Some companies may even cancel your policy or refuse to renew, which means you’ll have to try to find a new insurance carrier – no small feat when you have a DUI on your record.
Additionally, if you have a job that requires state licensure (i.e., a driver, doctor, or teacher), a DUI can have serious ramifications for your employment. A professional driver may be fired and/or have their CDL revoked. Health practitioners or educators who are convicted of a DUI may be subject to disciplinary measures such as probation or suspension.
Another consideration is the long-term repercussions of finding a job or housing with a DUI on your record. Some employers may not hire someone who has this on their background check, and in some instances, landlords may not lease to an individual with a criminal history. Being upfront can go far in these situations, but it does not erase that black mark on your background check.
Like it or not, having a DUI affects many areas of your life, including your personal relationships. It can create a rift as those you love become unsure of your trustworthiness. It casts a shadow of doubt on your character that may be hard to overcome. However, as time elapses, you can regain that trust if you make better life choices.
Though a DUI carries some heavy repercussions that touch many parts of your life and the lives of your loved ones, you can recover and rebuild. If you need a DUI defense attorney, Jonathan W. McConnell is a Wichita, KS-based lawyer with extensive background in DUI cases. Honored by the National College for DUI Defense, Jon’s experience and compassion make him an ideal defender to help you regain your life and mitigate the damage of your DUI.