There is a huge misconception among people who have been arrested for a DUI that hiring a lawyer is too expensive and too much of a hassle. That is just not the case. Heading to court and pleading guilty to your DUI can cost you more than you think. The truth is hiring a DUI lawyer to fight your case may cost less money than the heavy fines and other expenses you will pay if you plead guilty. Here are some ways a DUI guilty plea can empty your wallet.
Transportation. You need to get to work, right? What if there is no bus, what if your friend or co-worker can’t take you? Even if you only take a cab 2 days per week just to work and back, it could cost you more than $700 in cab fare. (Assuming that you live 10 miles from work and your suspension is for six month.) That’s more than two car payments, which you’ll still be making even while you’re not driving.
Insurance Rates. After a DUI arrest, if your car insurance doesn’t drop you, your monthly rate will raise at an average of 30%. Most DUI offenders will have to pay increased ratesfor three years, plus the fee with filing an SR-22. On average, you are most likely to pay an extra $500 per year for the next three years if you plead guilty to a DUI. That’s an additional $1500 than what you’re already paying for insurance. Unbelievable!
Ignition Interlocks. Ignition interlocks are becoming increasingly more popular as a penalty for those convicted of DUI. If you are required to install an IID, you need to pay for it. On average it costs about $60 to install an interlock, plus a monthly fee of about $60. If you are required to install an interlock for a year (which is a typical requirement), you will need to fork over at least $780.
Court Costs and Fees. It is important not forget those heavy fines you will need to pay if you get convicted of a DUI. Although it varies from state to state, you could pay up to $1200 in court fees if you get convicted. Also, remember that depending on the severity of your DUI, these costs can go up exponentially.
Alcohol Education Classes. Alcohol education classes are a major requirement for anyone convicted of a DUI. Again, you’re responsible for paying the class fees. Although each state has different types of education requirements, it could cost you up to $2,000.
License Reinstatement. Even after you fulfilled your punishment and think this whole process is over, you’ll be slapped with another fine just to get your license back. This can cost you around $250.
Altogether, you’re looking at some major financial commitments. Don’t forget that these are just averages. In some states, these costs are nearly double! Also, these fines are only the average minimum. If you have any other extenuating factors with your DUI conviction, you will likely see these numbers multiply.
Hire a DUI attorney. It’s worth the investment, and it’s cheaper than a guilty plea! Get someone you feel comfortable with and has knowledge of the local DUI laws. Ask questions and do your homework. Hire a DUI attorney who can represent you and help you fight for your rights, your freedom and the privilege to keep your hard-earned money!!