A DUI conviction could come with incarceration, substantial fines, driver’s license suspension, and court-ordered penalties, such as community service and DUI School enrollment. But what you might not know is that a driving-while-intoxicated conviction can also have various damaging repercussions on your entire life.
These consequences aren’t directly linked to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or court-imposed punishments. Instead, they’re the natural impact of having a driving-while-intoxicated conviction on your criminal record. Some damaging repercussions are evident, while others aren’t because they’re rarely-known facts. Regardless, they can significantly affect your future.
Overcoming the damaging repercussions of a drunk-driving conviction can be harder than it is to overcome the court-imposed punishments. For this reason, you want to do everything possible to ensure you don’t suffer any of them. Avoiding these damaging penalties, minimizing their effect, or preparing to face them if they’re imminent are things that experienced DUI defense attorneys from the Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney can help you do. Serving clients facing charges in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, we boast the skill and knowledge to build a defense strategy that will help you achieve the best possible outcome. Call us today and let us help you avoid consequences that could ruin your entire life.
Defining Damaging Consequences of a Conviction
After any criminal conviction, there are various repercussions you will have to suffer. These consequences are outlined in the law you were accused of breaking and generally include incarceration, probation, and fines. They are the punishments you’ll have to suffer directly for committing a crime.
However, these aren’t the only repercussions of a criminal conviction. Damaging repercussions are the harsh consequences you can be subject to if you have a conviction of a particular crime, adversely affecting your way of life. These consequences come in various forms that they’re frequently forgotten whenever people, including attorneys and DAs, talk about criminal convictions. Worse, the kind of damaging repercussions you can be subject to change based on the type of conviction. Prevalent damaging repercussions of a criminal conviction include:
- Immigration complications
- Ineligibility for particular professional licenses
- Being disqualified from receiving government aid such as scholarships and food stamps
- Loss of the legal right to possess or own a gun
- Loss of voting rights
These damaging consequences generally center on the kind of behavior that resulted in the conviction. For instance, if you are convicted of bank fraud, it can be more difficult for you to secure a mortgage or loan. However, the connection between the conviction in question and the damaging consequence can be somewhat tenuous. For example, a violent felony conviction can forever bar you from acquiring the professional license you require to own a barbershop, something that seemingly doesn’t have any relationship with the conviction in question.
Lastly, the severeness of criminal offense significantly contributes to what damaging consequences you’ll need to overcome. A felony conviction triggers a much broader range of damaging consequences than a misdemeanor conviction does.
Damaging Consequences of a Driving Under the Influence Conviction
If you’ve been convicted of driving while intoxicated, there are several damaging consequences you may have to overcome. One that’s almost certain is an increased price for auto insurance. If you’re a student or considering enrolling in an education program, you may also be subject to consequences due to your driving-while-intoxicated conviction that could adversely affect any financial aid or scholarships you receive.
Another damaging consequence you may face concerns your employment, particularly if you’re a commercial driver, such as a bus or truck driver, or employed as a driver with Lyft, Uber, or any other ridesharing services. Also, there are possible immigration problems and travel if you’re a non-United States citizen. You could also face travel restrictions. Lastly, persons with a DUI history usually face social stigma, evident in various circumstances.
Some colleges, private college organizations, and universities may suspend you from school should you be convicted of DUI. If you aren’t suspended, it could be harder to obtain financial aid to pay the tuition fees. A drunk- or drugged-driving conviction could also affect your capability to join various organizations, academic fraternities, or sports teams.
Most scholarships available to graduate and college students, especially those offered by funding organizations independent of the school in which you’re enrolled, have applications that particularly look into your criminal record. The farther you go into the application review process, the more likely it is for the organization to conduct a background check to determine if your answers to their questions on your criminal history are correct.
If you said you didn’t have any criminal record when you do have a past DUI conviction, the dishonesty could ruin your application, preventing you from winning a scholarship you otherwise qualified to receive. On the contrary, if you told the truth about being convicted of DUI, the funding organization may not take your application seriously.
Financial aid in the form of state or federal grants also question your criminal history. Some grants and scholarships are automatically denied if the applicant has a DUI conviction.
Lastly, your criminal background will show even before enrolling in your school of choice. If you have a drunk- or drugged-driving conviction record and have applied to enroll in a post-graduate or college degree program, that record will be a concern. And if the program is particularly competitive or prestigious, a DUI conviction is enough to place you after other equally qualified candidates.
SR-22 and Auto Insurance Premiums
Almost everyone who has newly been convicted of DUI will experience a substantial rise in car insurance costs. A drugged- or drunk-driving is the kind of charge that’ll have a damaging impact on your insurance policy. Your insurance company will charge a higher premium since the DUI conviction on your criminal record shows them that you’re a riskier motorist than before the conviction. For them, your driving under the influence presents an increased possibility of a crash, thus justifying a rise in your insurance cost. If you’re lucky, you might not experience a significant rise in the premiums. But if you’re unlucky, your vehicle insurance might drop your insurance policy altogether.
One of the ways for your auto insurance premiums to increase is through the requirement to complete an SR-22 form when reinstating your driver’s license after the court or DMV suspended it for DUI. An SR-22 form is simply an insurance certificate. When seeking to reinstate your driver’s license after it was suspended for DUI, you’ll have to show that you meet the required minimum car liability insurance, and this is the document that does that. Your insurance provider will give you this form and send another copy to the DMV.
How much the SR-22 form costs depends on your auto insurance provider and the facts of the conviction. However, most insurance policies involving this certificate go up to eight hundred dollars. Some insurance providers will charge an additional fee (usually ranging from twenty-five to fifty dollars) to send the form to the DMV for you.
A conviction for DUI is something other people often bring up anytime they want to engage in character assassination for their personal gain. Their competitors have exposed the DUI conviction records of most politicians to try and shame or discredit them.
But public figures aren’t the only individuals who can be subject to social stigma due to a drunk or drugged-driving conviction. Most of the hotly contested divorces involve claims that a DUI conviction makes one partner unfit to parent, implying that driving while intoxicated makes them an irresponsible individual, and so they shouldn’t be granted child custody.
A conviction for DUI can prevent you from traveling outside the United States. Securing the visa to study, live, or visit abroad can be an uphill task when you have a drunk-driving conviction on your criminal record. We have more stringent countries when it comes to who they allow entry. Thus, travel restrictions depend on what country you wish to go to. For example, Canada refuses people with any criminal record, DUI conviction included, to enter the country unless they secure a waiver for the charges on their record. The waiver is required even if you are a first-time DUI offender.
The travel restriction consequence mainly affects persons who travel much for work. Flight attendants or pilots convicted of DUI may lose their jobs or have their professional schedules changed if the airline they work for does not accommodate the restrictions. This also applies to international business persons who need to travel to other countries regularly.
Anyone with a green card or seeking United States citizenship may have issues if they have a drunk-driving conviction on their criminal record, especially one that involves reckless driving, injury, or accident. These problems may include being deported, inadmissibility, or hardship obtaining citizenship.
Custody or Adoption Problems
Social workers and family courts will look unfavorably on your DUI conviction record if you’re in any of these situations:
- You’re in the process of adopting a child
- You’re involved in a child custody case
- You’re a foster parent
A driving-while-intoxicated conviction can adversely impact your profession. This is more apparent for commercial or professional drivers. Taxicab, bus, and truck drivers depend on their driving privileges to earn a living. Nevertheless, transportation companies need them to be safe while driving, protect the company’s vehicles and safeguard the company itself from possible liability in case of an accident.
Should you be accused and convicted of DUI, even if you were off duty and driving a personal auto, the transportation company may conclude that you aren’t safe enough, thus terminating you with immediate effect. Even when you obtain a restricted or temporary license that permits you to continue working, this is the case.
And even after reinstating your license and several years have elapsed since your drunk-driving conviction, you may still have a hard time securing a job as a commercial driver when the conviction is still on your criminal record. Usually, transportation companies rarely forgive or forget drivers with a DUI conviction record. Most companies are willing to hire a new person than retain a skilled driver with a prior DUI conviction.
The above employment repercussions of a drunk-driving conviction are in addition to the immediate effect that a driver’s license suspension could have on commercial drivers. Most commercial drivers who have driving privilege suspended/revoked lose their driving job too.
Commercial drivers aren’t the only individuals whose professions can be adversely affected due to a DUI conviction. If you’re a doctor, lawyer, broker, financial planner, or nurse convicted of driving under the influence, your professional license could be suspended or revoked. Technically, these professions require that you have good character. Thus, if you’ve been convicted of DUI, your employers may claim that you are irresponsible, which could be grounds to fire you.
In most cases, there’s a reporting requirement that must be adhered to. Failure to report a conviction or lying about it could result in more problems for you than if you were truthful about it.
You May Qualify for an Expungement
A driving-while-intoxicated conviction will have damaging repercussions for as long as it continues to reflect on your record of criminal activity. One of the ways to avoid these repercussions is expunging the conviction. Some people are eligible for criminal record expungement, and you may qualify as well. An expungement is a legal process of permanently deleting the conviction from your criminal record. Put otherwise; a judge reopens your drunk-driving case then changes the verdict. It’s worth noting that your drunk-driving conviction won’t be entirely eliminated. Some people with access to your criminal record will see that you were convicted of DUI. However, the record will also show that the conviction was expunged.
Find an Expert DUI Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
At the Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney, we boast knowledgeable DUI defense lawyers serving clients facing charges in Los Angeles and its environs. The knowledge and experience our attorneys have acquired after serving hundreds of people have helped us learn the possible damaging consequences you could face. Hiring us to defend you against your charges won’t only help avoid court-imposed repercussions.
It may also help protect you from the future damaging consequences of a DUI conviction. And if you already have a conviction, we may be able to help you with the expungement process. Call us today at 323-464-6700 to set up a free, confidential consultation. We’ll evaluate the facts surrounding your case and build a winning defense strategy.