About one million people are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) each year in the United States. This makes DUI one of the most common criminal offenses in the country.
Unfortunately, a DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences on your life. You could lose your license, pay hefty fines, and have a long-lasting criminal record. Therefore, avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs.
Here is how a DUI can affect your life:
The financial impact of a DUI is always high. You may have to pay fines, court fees, and legal expenses. Depending on the severity of the charge, fines can range from $500 to thousands of dollars.
Moreover, you may lose your license if convicted of your first DUI offense. You may have to undergo costly additional training and pay a high fee to reinstate it. Even after you get the license back, the court may ask you to install an ignition interlock device in your car at your own expense.
Lastly, DUI charges may cause your insurance rates to go up significantly. Insurance companies view drivers with a history of DUI to be high-risk. As a result, you may likely have to pay higher premiums for several years.
A DUI conviction may make your employer fire you without any notice and cause. If you have a family, losing a job can create serious financial hardship for your loved ones.
Furthermore, you will have a lifetime criminal record unless you successfully get your DUI case dismissed. This could make it difficult for you to get a good job.
If you plan to pursue higher education, a DUI criminal record could negatively impact your application. Most colleges conduct background checks on their applicants to ensure they are not dealing with criminals.
Credit Score Impact
Lenders rely on your credit score to decide whether to approve a loan or give you a credit card. The lower your credit score, the harder it is for the institution to approve your loan application.
A DUI charge can affect your credit score in numerous ways. If the court requires you to pay heavy fines and court fees, you will likely experience a financial setback that will make it hard to pay your monthly bills and rent on time. These consequences will likely cause your credit score to go down.
If you get behind the wheel while intoxicated, the chances are high that you will get into an accident, causing personal injury or property damage to innocent people. Victims of the crash could sue you to seek compensation for their losses.
Civil lawsuits are expensive and stressful to deal with. They might affect your life in many ways, including your finances and family relationships.
Hire an Attorney if You Are Facing a DUI Charge
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be devastating in your life. Fortunately, you can protect your rights and avoid harsh penalties by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.
“States have complex laws and penalties for DUI charges. These cases also involve many legal procedures and complicated paperwork that must be handled properly to avoid delays in your case,” says Chad Propst of South Carolina Criminal Law. DUI attorneys thoroughly understand the applicable DUI laws and know how to apply their knowledge to defend your case effectively.