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DUI costs and can I keep my driver's license?

If you have been arrested you probably have dozens of questions about the drunk driving legal process: what will happen to your license, how will the drunk driving arrest affect your future and how much this mistake will cost you. Unfortunately, every one of these questions depends on where you were arrested and whether or not this was your first, second or third drunk driving arrest.

 Can I keep my driver’s license after drunk driving arrest?

  Almost all states have civil as well as criminal penalties for driving with a blood alcohol concentration level higher than 0.08% or refusing to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test. These penalties are civil penalties and are imposed regardless of whether or not you are eventually convicted of drunk driving. These civil penalties can be challenged through an administrative hearing, but this must be done immediately following a DUI arrest. If you do not win at your administrative hearing or you fail to challenge the suspension your license will automatically be suspended. The length of the suspension will vary by state and whether or not this was your first, second or third DUI arrest or BAC test refusal. Now, what happens if you are convicted of a DUI? Your license will also be suspended. The length of time can vary greatly by state, and as mentioned above, if this is your second, third or fourth DUI you can have your license revoked for a very long time.

How much will my DUI cost?

  You will face high fines and fees after a DUI: fees to reinstate your license, higher insurance costs, attorney’s fees, DUI penalties if convicted of drunk driving, or installation charges for a ignition interlock device. If you choose to hire a lawyer the fees will vary based on whether this is your first, second or third DUI arrest, the complexity of your case, whether you are going to make a plea agreement or if the lawyer has to take your case to court. If your drunk driving lawyer has to hire witnesses, issue subpoenas or hire experts to provide independent analysis of the facts of your case this can also increase the cost of representation. Different lawyers also charge different prices. If you are in small community you might find a lawyer for as little as $750. A well-known lawyer with reputation for winning cases may charge upwards of $10,000. In general, the higher the skill of the lawyer the higher the price you may have to pay, although, if you find a great DUI lawyer who is just starting out you may have great legal representation for a reasonable price.

What DUI penalties are imposed by the state?

  As mentioned above, the fines and penalties will vary by state and by whether or not this is your first, second or third DUI charge. For instance, for your first DUI in California you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars. In Tennessee, your first DUI can cost from $350 to $1,500. If you are convicted of a second, third or fourth DUI your fines and penalties will be much higher.
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