What Will A DUI Cost Me?
When you’ve been accused of DUI in Pennsylvania, one of the smartest things you can do is hire an experienced DUI lawyer to fight back against your charges right away. But good legal representation costs money, and at a time in your life when you’re likely already worrying about fines and potential loss of income, you might wonder if the additional cost of a DUI lawyer is worth it. Isn’t it cheaper to just plead guilty? No, it’s not. Not by a long shot. Especially when you consider all the financial ramifications of a DUI conviction.
What are the Financial Ramifications of a DUI?
If you are convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania, you will be required attend traffic school on your own time and at your own expense, as well as pay the fines levied on you by the Commonwealth. The minimum fine for a first offense DUI in PA is $300, but depending on your BAC, your prior record, your license type, and whether your case involved an accident, injury, or death, your fines could be as high as $10,000 or more.
Also, if you are convicted of DUI, it is a virtual certainty that your car insurance rates will increase significantly. There is also a high likelihood that your insurance company will drop your policy outright. If the accused DUI driver is young enough, it could potentially make them uninsurable. For all DUIs now, you’ll also be required to pay for an ignition interlock device for your car that costs upward of $1,200. This invasive machine is installed in your vehicle, and is a type of personal breathalyzer that will only let you drive after you provide it with a breath sample which it will analyze to determine you are under the legal limit before it allows you ignition to start your car.
There are the costs of time you lose from other areas from your life. Even if you’re not convicted, at the very least you’ll need to inconveniently take time off of work for your court dates, at which your appearance is mandatory (at least once per month until your case is concluded, but sometimes more). But things get a lot scarier if you’re convicted. A DUI conviction for anything more than a first offense with low BAC results in mandatory jail time anywhere from 2 days to 1 year or more, depending upon if you have prior convictions for DUI. Add that potential loss of work time to the fact that your DUI conviction is noted on your permanent criminal record where anyone (including your employer) can see it, and you could risk being fired from your job altogether.
Finally, for all but the most minor offense, a DUI conviction will result in the loss of your drivers’ license and, if you go to jail, you lose your freedom too. How much are those things worth to you? Can you put a dollar value on staying out of jail, on protecting your permanent record, on keeping your ability to drive your car when you want or need to?
When you add up the potential costs of a DUI conviction, you can see why hiring the best, most experienced DUI lawyer to defend you can save actually save you money in the long run. If you’ve been accused of DUI, make the smart choice and contact Bompadre Law today for your free case evaluation. Put Bompadre Law in your corner to defend your rights, your freedom, and your pocketbook.
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