Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a very serious crime, regardless of your state of residency. While a DUI conviction will affect your future, it will also have long-term effects on your life and financial situation. In the state of Connecticut, the fines for DUI are high even for first time offenders which can out a major dent in their wallet.
While a high fine is bad enough, drivers should also take into account additional financial repercussions faced both now and in the future. Drivers should keep in mind that while the fines may be high they will also face paying court costs, having to pay an attorney, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device if one is required, and having to deal with the potential loss of income should they have to serve a jail sentence as a result of their conviction.
Financial Repercussions Individuals Will Deal with Today
As mentioned, there are a number of financial repercussions related to the conviction of a DUI and even beforehand. First, when the individual is pulled over, charged, and arrested with DUI, he or she will likely have to pay for the towing, impoundment, and storage of the vehicle, unless the office allows someone to come pick up the car. Should the individual be booked into the local jail, he or she will need to pay or have someone pay bail in order to be released.
After being released from jail, hiring an attorney is advised before the first scheduled court appearance. The cost and payment for the attorney’s service will vary from one attorney to the next. Usually, individuals can expect to pay between $750 and $1,500 for this representation.
After all this money has already been paid, the individual will now need to tackle the actual fine for the conviction. Those who are convicted of DUI in Connecticut will face paying a fine of between $500 and $1,000 – it is important to keep in mind that the amount of this fine will vary from one state to the next and the amount will generally increase with the number of previous offenses of DUI the individual has. Even though you may reside in Connecticut, you are bound by state laws if arrested and charged in another state.
Financial Repercussions Individuals Will Deal with Tomorrow
There will be some individuals who do not have the savings or current income to cover all the fines and penalties that were discussed earlier. In some cases, payment plans may be worked out, but these plans may involve interest or charges in order to spread out the payments over time. Being able to pay these bills upfront may come as a relief for some, but it will affect savings, making it harder to make other purchases.
Care Insurance and DUI in Connecticut
Another financial repercussion of DUI that many individuals do not consider is how this conviction will affect car insurance rates. Regardless of which state the DUI conviction is handed down or which state the individual lives in, they will definitely see an increase in their car insurance rate. Connecticut, which is already the fifth most expensive state in the country for car insurance, there is a 115 percent increase for the insurance rate, which is about $175 over existing policy premiums.
Hiring a DUI Attorney to Minimize the Financial Impacts
It is easy to see how being convicted can have very serious financial repercussions, making future life very difficult for anyone convicted of a DUI in Connecticut. When all is said and done, between fines, penalties, payments and lawyer’s fees, individuals are looking at upwards of $40,000 for a single DUI conviction. While not hiring a lawyer may seem like a good way to save some money, it actually can be more beneficial, even if the attorney has higher fees.
A lawyer who is well-versed in the DUI laws of the state in which the arrest and charge is taking place will be able to identify any areas in which the prosecutor’s case may be weak. They will look at all the evidence surrounding the case, what happened before, during, and after the arrest in order to see if anything indicates the individual is innocent or if their rights were violated in some way. If the lawyer is able to get the case dismissed, the individual will avoid many of the fines, saving them money.
Another option is to have the individual’s charges reduced to something less serious. The state of Connecticut does allow plea bargaining for a lesser charge when it comes to DUI convictions. Often, individual’s will receive a charge of reckless driving or “wet reckless,” which is a reckless driving charge that indicates alcohol was a factor. Although still being charged with a crime, penalties and fines will be much less.
In the end, the financial repercussions of DUI are very serious and have the ability to leave people in financial ruin. While having a good DUI lawyer can help to have the charges reduced or even dismissed, the easiest way to avoid dealing with the consequences is by not drinking and driving. By taking a cab or designating a sober driver, individuals can avoid being charged with DUI and, more importantly, they can avoid putting their own life and the lives of others in danger.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.