When people think about getting arrested for DUI, they don’t usually think about the costs that are associated with a DUI conviction. Sure, they worry about going to jail or losing their license. They also know that they’ll probably have to hire one of the best DUI defense attorneys in Greenville. But the thought of how much the DUI can actually cost them doesn’t really hit them until after they’ve been convicted.
Obviously, there are financial penalties for getting a DUI conviction. There are also long-term consequences for this kind of offense. For example, you may lose your professional license if you’re convicted of DUI. You may not be able to get into certain schools or programs with a DUI on your record. These things can cost you down the road. As far as the imminent costs associated with a DUI conviction, you’re looking at thousands of dollars.
You’ll have to pay fines. You may have to pay to get your car out of impound depending on the facts surrounding your arrest. You’ll eventually have to pay to get your driver’s license reinstated. And, for the next 10 years, you’ll be paying escalated premiums for your car insurance.
Here, we will break down the costs associated with a DUI conviction in South Carolina. The best way to avoid paying these costs is to not get arrested for DUI in the first place. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this article, that’s not an option for you. However, it is a good idea to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Greenville as soon as possible after your arrest so you can avoid a DUI conviction.
If Getting a DUI Conviction, You’ll Have to Pay Fines
If you’re getting a DUI conviction, you’ll be facing certain penalties. One of these penalties, for certain, are court fees. Not only will you be charged the costs of your hearing or trial, but you will also be ordered to pay fines.
Even if someone goes to traffic court for a speeding ticket, they will be ordered to pay court fees. These fees can range from as low as $33 to several hundred dollars. It all depends on how long it takes to prosecute your case. It may also depend on whether you accept an early plea or decide to go to trial.
Regardless of which way you decide to go, your criminal defense lawyer in Greenville will back you up all the way. They will do their best to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed. If that is impossible based on the evidence the state has against you, your attorney will at least try to get you the lowest sentence possible for your DUI conviction.
You May Have to Pay to Get Your Car Out of Impound
If your car was not impounded at the time of your arrest, consider yourself lucky. Depending on the officer and the way the encounter goes down, they may allow you to call somebody to come pick your vehicle up. If not, your car will more than likely be putting in the impound lot.
If you’re able to get out of jail and get your car out of impound in a couple of days, this may only cost you a couple of hundred dollars. However, if you can’t afford to get your vehicle out right away, you will be looking at several hundred dollars, if not $1,000 in fees.
Some of the more common reasons why your vehicle may be impounded include the following:
- The officers found drugs and alcohol in your vehicle at the time of your traffic stop
- You were engaged in another crime at the time of your arrest for DUI
- You were driving without insurance or a valid driver’s license
- The car you were driving was stolen or not in your name
- Other facts or circumstances warranted your car being impounded by the police
Even if you’re forced to pay a large fee to get your car out of impound, this may be the least of your worries.
You Will Have to Pay Reinstatement Fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles
If you received a DUI conviction, whether it’s your first defense or your third offense, your driver’s license will be suspended. Even if you hire one of the best DUI defense attorneys in Greenville, you will have to serve at least the first 30 days of your suspension. After that, your attorney can help you apply for a hardship or provisional driver’s license.
If your request for a provisional license is approved, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You may also have to pay other fees to obtain your hardship license. If you never applied for a hardship license, then you will probably want to get your license reinstated at the end of your suspension period. You will have to pay a reinstatement fee of at least $100 to do so.
If, at the time of your application for reinstatement, you owe other fines or tickets, you will have to pay them as well. The DMV is not going to reinstate your license if you have any outstanding charges.
Your Insurance Rates Are Going to Increase Dramatically
Even if it’s your first DUI conviction, you can expect your auto insurance rates to increase dramatically. Most of our clients end up having their insurance go up by two or three times as much as they paid prior to their arrest.
Unfortunately, once your insurance carrier is informed that you got a DUI conviction, your rates will stay high for up to 10 years. It usually takes that long to start seeing the DUI conviction come off of your insurance policy as far as risk calculations are concerned.
You’ll Need to Pay to Retain One of the Best DUI Defense Attorneys in Greenville
In addition to the other fees and fines discussed here, you also have to pay to retain one of the best DUI defense attorneys in Greenville. If you want to avoid a DUI conviction in the first place, you need to hire an attorney. It is very difficult to get the prosecutor to reduce or dismiss the charges if you’re not represented by counsel.
This is why we suggest that you contact one of our criminal defense lawyers in Greenville the minute you’re arrested if possible. If not, you’ll want to get in touch with our office as soon as possible after you’re released.