The True Cost of a California DUI
Many people who are facing DUI charges worry about the legal penalties such as jail time or probation. However, there are other consequences of a DUI conviction that defendants should worry about, particularly the costs.
The cost of a DUI is staggering in the State of California. Costs will vary on a case-by-case basis, but it is best for DUI defendants to learn about the various expenses they will incur, so they have a general idea of the total cost of a conviction.
Skilled Lawyers Explain the Standard Costs of DUIs in California
There are a number of costs that are associated with DUI convictions in the State of California. The first is court-ordered fines, which are often imposed on defendants who are convicted of DUI. The judge presiding over the case can impose fines of $2,000 or more in DUI cases.
Most DUI defendants are sentenced to enroll in and complete a DUI education program. Defendants are responsible for paying for this program, which usually costs between $500-$2,000.
There are also several miscellaneous expenses, including court fees and vehicle towing and impounding fees. Law enforcement also expects DUI defendants to pay booking and fingerprint fees, which cover the cost of taking someone into custody.
DUI defendants are ordered to pay into the victim restitution fund as part of their sentence. This money is used to compensate victims and is paid by every DUI defendant regardless of whether or not they injured someone.
Finally, DUI defendants will also need to pay for legal services. The cost of an attorney varies depending on the complexity of your case and the attorney’s experience. Quality legal services are not cheap, but hiring an attorney is worth the investment.
DUI Attorney Discusses Additional Costs of DUI Cases
There are other costs that should be included when calculating the total cost of a DUI. Fighting a DUI requires making multiple court appearances. Without a private lawyer to appear on your behalf, you may need to take time off of work until your case has been resolved. As a result, you could lose the opportunity to earn money at work if you are charged with a DUI.
You will also need to pay for transportation if your license is suspended due to a DUI conviction. Taking the city bus is not expensive, however, it does add up over time. The longer your license is suspended, the more it will cost to get where you need to go.
The DMV requires DUI defendants to pay a reinstatement fee in order to restore their driving privileges at the end of a suspension. This reinstatement fee of about $125 is another expense that must be added on to the total cost of DUI.
DUI defendants may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle once their driving privileges have been restored. If you are required to use this device, you are also required to cover the cost of renting and maintaining it.
Installing this device costs several hundred dollars and the monthly maintenance fee typically falls between $60-80, depending on the provider.
One DUI-related expense that defendants often forget about is car insurance. The DMV will not reinstate your driving privileges unless you can provide proof of an SR-22. An SR-22 is not an insurance policy, but rather a certificate that assures the DMV you maintain adequate insurance coverage.
Requesting an SR-22 from your insurance company raises a red flag that will almost certainly affect your insurance rates. If you are required to obtain an SR-22, most insurance companies will classify you as a high-risk driver and raise your rates when your policy renews.
The increase can vary depending on the driver’s record and the insurance company, however, some DUI defendants pay 20-100% and more for coverage after a conviction. The insurance company can continue to charge higher rates for at least ten (10) years following your conviction, so this is a significant long-term expense.
Have you been charged with DUI? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at our firm – The Law Offices of Todd Landgren. We have an exceptional team of DUI lawyers has decades of experience fighting to help DUI defendants protect their freedom. We will work tirelessly to reach the best outcome regarding your case. Call 949-752-1122 or contact us via the website form to schedule a free consultation.
I had a felony DUI with GBI enhancement...I am a vet and thought my life was over. He took over from the beginning and told me what I had to do in order to become a better man and prove to the courts I wasn't a bad person. I was set to do 2-3 years in state prison and got.