If you are charged with a DUI, or driving under the influence charge, you may find yourself debating whether or not you should hire a DUI defense attorney. It is not uncommon for someone to not hire one because they do not want to spend the money on an attorney or think that it is too much money. However, hiring a DUI lawyer may actually help you save money in the long run. Here are a few of the fees that a DUI attorney may help to eliminate or get reduced if they are able to get the charges against you dropped or reduced or if they accept a plea deal on your behalf.
If you are found guilty of a DUI charge, you will be ordered to pay court fines. The amount of these fines can range from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars, depending on your blood alcohol content level, whether you caused any damage to property or injured anyone and the number of past DUI charges you may have. In addition to this, the courts may order you to participate in alcohol education courses, alcohol or sobriety classes or community service, all of which you are required to pay for. An attorney can work on different defenses which can be used to get the charges against you dropped. If the charges cannot be dropped, they may be able to get the charges against you reduced, lowering your fines. If the evidence is substantial, they may be able to negotiate a plea deal with reduced fines in exchange for you pleading guilty quickly.
Another huge expense that you may incur because of a DUI conviction is insurance expenses. When you are found guilty of a DUI, most states require you to obtain SR-22 insurance. This is a higher insurance amount than the average person is required to carry. As such, insurance winds up costing you substantially more. And the DUI can stay on your driving record for anywhere from five to ten years, meaning your insurance may remain high for this length of time. If a lawyer is able to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced so you are facing a traffic infraction rather than a DUI charge, you won't have the significantly higher insurance costs that go along with a DUI conviction.
The Cost of Having a Criminal Record
The last expense you may have because of a DUI conviction is the cost of having a criminal record. A DUI is a misdemeanor charge. If you are convicted, you will have to answer yes to having a criminal record when you apply for jobs, look for a rental home, or need to pass a background check for any other reason. Having a criminal record may cost you higher paying jobs or living in the area you want to live in. You cannot put a price on what you will lose. A DUI attorney will work hard to prevent you from having a criminal record by working to get the charges against you dismissed, reduced or making a plea deal that allows for the charges to be expunged if you complete the court's requirements.
Paying for a DUI attorney may be costly, but it can end up costing you more in the long run if you fail to hire one. If you are on the fence about hiring a DUI attorney, consider all of the expenses you may incur if you are found guilty of the charges, including court fines, higher insurance costs and the cost of having a criminal record. If these are expenses you do not want, consult with a DUI lawyer today, like Angela L Walker PC, to find out how they can help you with your case.Share