DUI charges may seem to be penalized mainly via license suspensions and jail time, but don’t overlook the money you’ll have to pay to the courts in fines. These fines vary from $500 to $2,000 depending on the nature of the charges. Many states handle fines very differently however. Washington state, for example, has fines for a first DUI starting at over $800. That’s for only one DUI charge.
In other cases, you might pay $5,000 for your first DUI charge. Also, you can expect the penalties to increase with each. If you’re underage and driving … if you have multiple DUI charges … or if you hurt or killed someone while driving, the penalties can be extreme. You will also be forced to pay for other things, such as classes, hiring an attorney to help, and many other costs which add up.
Every day there are numerous DUI arrests. Every day, someone dies related to alcohol. Every day, someone is hit by another person drinking and driving. Recent studies have pointed out how over 10,000 people die as related to DUI cases every year. The number is happily in decline, but it’s one reasons DUI fines are high.
The First DUI Penalty
First DUI charges typically cost about $2,000. This is for a basic arrest where no one was hurt. If you hurt someone or had a very high blood alcohol content (BAC), you can expect larger fines. In this case, you’ll need to hire a lawyer. There simply is no way around it. And lawyers cost money.
How Lawyers Charge You
There are many experienced DUI lawyers who can help you lower fines, jail time, and license suspensions. That comes for a price. Many lawyers will charge you high fees just to take on your case. At the end, if you choose a bad lawyer or pick the first one you find, it can cost you thousands more. And an experienced DUI attorney gives you a chance to win the case–and get no fines, jail time, or suspension.
An aggravated DUI is a very serious charge. It was mentioned if you hurt someone or have a very, very high BAC, the fines are more severe. In these cases, some states call it an aggravated DUI. You can also get an aggravated DUI for multiple drinking and driving offenses. If you have a BAC of .13, for example, which is very high, you may be charged with it. If you hurt someone, or have multiple DUI violations, you can expect an aggravated DUI.
Other Penalties for DUI
Beyond just paying thousands of dollars in court fees and the time involved in taking classes, you have the potential for jail time and license suspension. For a first DUI violation, your license is typically suspended for a few months to a year. The more violations you get, the longer period you have with no license. If you hurt someone, or have multiple DUI violations, you can expect extended jail time, sometimes several years.
The Answer for DUI Charges
The best thing you can do is hire the right attorney from the start. You may have more options than you think. An experienced DUI attorney saves you time, money, and can lessen the charges or perhaps win the case for you.