You probably know about the criminal cost of a driving under the influence conviction in California. You lose your freedom because you have to spend time in jail. You lose your driver’s license. This means public transportation or asking a friend for a ride. You probably have to pay:
- Cost of court.
- Higher insurance premiums. For example, your insurance may rise from $5,000 to $10,000 for the first five years after your DUI conviction.
- License reinstatement fees.
The court may require you to enroll in a alcohol education program and install an ignition interlock device. An ignition interlock device is placed on your vehicle to prevent the engine from starting unless you provide a clean breath sample. A “clean breath sample” means that you blow into the device and and you don't have any alcohol content in your breath.
The Real Costs of a DUI Conviction
The estimated cost of a first-time DUI conviction ranges from $9,000 to $24,000. Here’s a sample of some expenses connected with a DUI arrest and conviction. Please keep in mind that the cost vary depending on the California jurisdiction where the DUI occurred. The costs also depends on whether there were aggravating factors like:
- A high blood or breath DUI test. In California, a high BAC is 0.15 percent or greater.
- Your passenger being under the age of 14 years old.
Below are some of the financial costs associated with a DUI conviction:
Court Fees and Fines
If you are convicted for a first DUI, you face fines ranging from $390 to $1,000. Each time you are convicted of DUI the fines increase. The amount you pay in fines also increases when you are convicted of felony DUI. Typically, a a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor. However, when an individual is seriously injured, the fine you pay can increase to $5,000.
DUI Educational Program or Treatment
The judge presiding over your case may decide you should enroll in a court-ordered alcohol and/or drug treatment program. This cost of this can vary substantially. Also, if you are found guilty of diving under the influence, there is a cost associated with the mandatory DUI education class.
Ignition Interlock Device
This is sometimes required of repeat offenders. However, a judge can order that you pay for the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you drive more than one vehicle, the device has to be on all of the vehicles. The installation ranges as low as $25 to as high as $200. Keep in mind that you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your ignition device. Maintenance and upkeep is approximately $100 each month.
You may even have to pay to restore your driver privileges before ever going to court. You have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. This hearing challenges the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. The state charges about $125 to reissue your license after a mandatory suspension, should you not prevail at the hearing.
In cases where your vehicle was towed or it was impounded after your DUI arrest, you’ll pay to get it back. This several hundred dollars based on:
- Time your vehicle spent in impound.
- How far your vehicle was towed.
In some instances, a judge will sentence you to community service. If you cannot complete the community service, you may have to pay a higher fine.
If you are facing a DUI arrest, you want to avoid all the possible financial penalties associated with a conviction. Consider hiring the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin to fight the charge. Protect your finances and freedom with an attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin.