Everyone needs to ensure they drive safely when they get behind the wheel of a car, which means they are not intoxicated. Even though it is good news that drunk driving rates have fallen significantly during the past few decades, it is also true that driving under the influence still happens.
If you are convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the penalties could be significant. Some penalties are financial, and others are not. It is critical to take a closer look at how much a DUI costs in California, and you need to learn more about how to defend yourself against this charge properly.
You need a law firm to help you defend your rights, particularly if you have been charged with a DUI. Look at what it means to be charged with a DUI, and learn more about how a DUI lawyer can defend you and minimize DUI penalties following a DUI arrest.
It is critical to understand the costs associated with a DUI, and the costs could begin once you have been charged. For example, even if you are only charged with a DUI, you could still have your mugshot taken, your fingerprints stored, and have to pay bail to get out of jail.
Then, the costs become even steeper if you are convicted. You could have to spend more time in jail, face significant financial fines, and possibly have your license suspended or revoked. Understanding the exact nature of the costs you might face will make it easier to defend yourself accordingly.
The California DMV will almost certainly get involved if you are convicted of a DUI. The DMV could immediately suspend or revoke your license for several months or years, depending on how many DUI convictions you have on your record. Getting to school or work without your license might be challenging.
Your insurance rates could increase significantly, or your insurance company could drop you entirely. No insurance company is required to supply you with car insurance, but you must have car insurance to drive. This is typically found on Form SR-22, and if you are convicted of drunk driving, you may have difficulty getting car insurance.
DUI charges could also show up on a background check. In addition to spending time in jail, you may also have to pay significant financial penalties, and if a background check is required for your job, someone may be less willing to hire you if there is a DUI on your record.
In addition to significant fines, major costs could be associated with a DUI conviction. A few common examples include:
You will likely be required to pay court fines and fees if convicted. This money is used to pay the salaries of the employees who work in the court system. The exact nature of the fees may depend on the nature of your charges and your prior criminal record.
How will your car get home if you are arrested for a DUI? Someone will have to tow your vehicle to an impound lot, and your car will sit there until someone can get it out. The towing company is also going to have significant fees that they will charge, and you may be responsible for paying them.
The court might order you to attend alcohol school to lessen the charge or penalty. This school is not free; you should also expect to pay a hefty fee. The fee will vary depending on the school you go to, and it will also vary depending on the amount of time you need to spend in that class.
Eventually, you should be eligible to get your license reinstated by the California DMV, but that will be a cost. You will have to pay the DMV to reinstate your license, and they will require you to retake a test. The cost will likely vary depending on how long your license has been suspended.
If you are arrested, you should not have to spend time in jail if you have not been proven guilty. But that also means that you may have to pay bail to get out of jail, which could be significant, particularly if you have a prior criminal record. Paying your bail to get out of jail could be several thousand dollars.
If you have a history of prior DUI convictions on your record, the court system may require you to have an ignition interlock device. This device will only allow you to start your car once you show that you are safe to drive. These devices can be expensive, and you may be required to pay to install them.
Car insurance companies will be more hesitant to give you car insurance if you have a DUI conviction. Even if they agree to provide car insurance, your car insurance rates will be significantly more expensive. Your car insurance premiums could even be double or triple what they traditionally are.
You must contact an attorney who can provide you with the strongest possible defense, but your attorney costs will also vary. Some of the factors that will play a role in your attorney fees include the following:
If you partner with a DUI defense lawyer, they should be open, honest, and transparent about how much you must pay for your defense. A skilled DUI attorney could help you with a DMV hearing, minimize court penalties, and reduce the chances of a probation violation. Count on our DUI attorneys to represent you.
So, what happens if you are convicted of a DUI in California? The exact nature of the penalties will vary depending on how many DUIs you have on your record. A few examples of potential penalties you could face if you are convicted of a DUI include the following:
If you are convicted of a first DUI in California, some of the penalties you might face include the following:
Remember that these penalties could vary significantly depending on the nature of your DUI and other information that could be found on your record.
If you are convicted of a second DUI in California within ten years, some of the penalties you might face include the following:
If you are convicted of a second DUI, but the first DUI is greater than 10 years in the past, your next DUI conviction will likely be treated as a first-time DUI for sentencing purposes.
If you end up being convicted of a third DUI in California, and all of them occur within ten years, the penalties become significantly stiffer. They include:
If one of the DUI convictions is outside the 10-year window, this conviction could be treated as a second or first DUI.
If you are arrested, charged, and convicted of a DUI in California, some of the penalties you might face include the following:
There are even situations where this charge could be elevated to a felony. For example, if someone is injured or killed in an accident, and you are found to have been under the influence when it happened, you could be facing a felony charge instead.
The costs associated with a DUI charge or conviction can be significant, and you need to know all the options available. We are Summit Defense, and we can help you minimize the costs associated with a DUI, both financial and non-financial.
The sooner you get us involved, the easier it will be for us to provide you with a strong defense, so give us a call today to schedule a case consultation.
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