DUI Conviction and Your Financial Future
Regardless of where in Illinois you are pulled over and charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) – Chicago, Springfield, Champaign, Peoria, or anywhere else – it is important to begin the process of fighting these charges as soon as possible. Like many other states, Illinois takes DUI charges very seriously and the consequences of a DUI conviction can make a permanent impact on your personal, professional, and financial future. The professionals as FightDUICharges.com can help to review your DUI case and help you to build the best possible defense to fight your impending DUI conviction.
Possible Penalties for DUI in the State of Illinois
All states in the country have outlined the penalties passed down for those offenders convicted of DUI. While every state will handle these penalties differently, the penalties will generally include a license suspension, fines, possible jail time, and the possibility of having to use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). In the state of Illinois, a first time offender can expect the following consequences should they be convicted:
- Up to 1 Year in Jail
- Fines Up to $2,500
- Minimum License Suspension of 1 Year
- Having to Install and Use an Ignition Interlock Device
The state of Illinois also has no lookback period when it comes to convictions of Driving Under the Influence. Since this state keeps driving records from when the individual receives their license, any previous offense of DUI will be counted against the offender should they be charged again. This means that, no matter how long ago your first DUI was, the next one will be considered a repeat offense, making the fines higher, license suspension longer, and the jail time more serious.
Financial Impacts of Receiving a DUI Charge
While many people may believe a DUI will not affect their finances until they are convicted, the truth is that even being pulled over and arrested for this crime can be very costly. Should the driver be detained for the suspicion of DUI, it is likely he or she will be taken to the local jail and the car will be towed and stored in an impound lot. Unless the arresting officer allows someone to come pick up the car, the individual will be responsible for paying the towing and storage fees before the car is accessible.
In some situations, the individual will be processed and booked into the local jail and bail will be announced in order for them to be released. The bail amount for a DUI will vary based on the seriousness of the situation and if any aggravating circumstances are involved including having a minor in the vehicle or if there were any accidents. Bail can be set for anywhere between $500 and $50,000 – since not many people have this kind of cash laying around, they will likely need to borrow from someone else such as family members or friends and will likely need to pay that money back.
Once the individual is released, he or she will be assigned a court date to begin the legal process of facing a DUI charge. Individuals will likely consider hiring a DUI lawyer in order to defend them in court and possibly have their case dismissed, keeping in mind that plea bargaining for DUI is not allowed in the state of Illinois. All lawyers and law firms will have different costs for their services, but generally a good attorney will cost somewhere between $1,500 to $10,000.
Financial Impacts of Receiving a DUI Conviction
Should the outcome of the individual’s trial be a guilty verdict, he or she will face even further financial repercussions. As mentioned earlier, the state of Illinois imposes monetary fines for those who are convicted of DUI – regardless of how many previous offenses the individual has, he or she will face a penalty of up to $2,500. It is important to note this flat fine is not how all states charge offenders – most states impose higher fines for those with multiple offenses.
While these penalties may seem like punishment enough, many individuals forget about the other areas of their financial profile that will be affected by a DUI conviction. One of these areas is car insurance rates – when someone is convicted of Driving Under the Influence, it is reported on their criminal record as well as their driving record. In compliance with the law, the DUI conviction will be reported to the states Department of Motor Vehicles as well as the individual’s insurance company.
Once the insurance company is aware of the DUI, it is guaranteed the individual will see an increase in car insurance rates. This increase will vary from one insurance provider to the next and will also vary based on the state in which the insurance is purchased. In the state of Illinois, individuals can expect an approximate 55 percent increase in their monthly insurance rates, which averages out to about a $65 a month increase – Illinois insurance increases for DUI are among the lowest in the country.
Avoiding DUI Convictions and Protecting Your Financial Future
When all is said and done, individuals who are convicted of DUI will face upwards of $40,000 in cost. This figure includes the cost of towing and storing their vehicle, having to post bail, hiring a lawyer, the fines and penalties they face when convicted, and their increased car insurance rates. This is an enormous expense and does not include the loss in wages an individual will face should he or she need to appear in court or serve a jail sentence. When it comes right down to it, there is only one way to avoid being charged and convicted of DUI and that is to not drive drunk.
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.