Can you afford a DUI conviction?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

A drunk driving arrest can be frustrating and humiliating. Whether you were certain you were under the legal blood alcohol concentration limit or you can’t argue with law enforcement’s decision to place you under arrest, what lies ahead may be months and perhaps even years of challenges and hardships, especially if your arrest leads to a conviction. 

Many do not realize just how expensive a drunk driving conviction can be when everything is tallied up. You may plead guilty and receive a reduced fine, but the fine is just the beginning of the story when you have a DUI on your record. 

Complications mean more money 

If a court convicts you of drunk driving, you may spend time in jail, do community service and certainly pay a significant fine. The more complex your case, the more you can expect it to cost you. For example, any of the following can involve additional or more serious charges, more severe penalties, and a higher likelihood that you will face financial culpability if a court convicts you: 

  • Your BAC was higher than .15. 
  • You have previous drunk driving convictions on your records. 
  • A judge orders you to install an ignition interlock system in your vehicle. 
  • You were involved in an accident that resulted in property damage. 
  • You were involved in an accident that led to someone else’s injuries or loss of life. 
  • Your court-ordered alcohol screening recommends substance abuse treatment. 

Of course, if you plan on driving again after your period of license suspension is over, you will have to pay to have your North Carolina driver’s license reinstated, and you can expect your car insurance to skyrocket because insurers will consider you a high risk. You may even have difficulty finding an insurer who will cover you after a DUI conviction.  

The grand total 

Once you have paid your bail, court fees for each offense, probation costs, restitution and any other related expenses, you may have spent as much as $25,000. Additionally, you will have a criminal conviction on your record, which may affect your ability to keep your job, find work in your chosen field, qualify for many government benefits and possibly pursue your goals for the future. 

Avoiding a DUI and all its troubles is not always as easy as knowing your limits, for many have faced arrest whose BAC was below .08. This is why is it always wise to know the law and the most effective ways to protect your rights and your future when you are facing DUI charges.