You made the decision to drive when you shouldn’t and now you have a DUI to deal with on your record. A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge is a serious offense that means fines, loss of license and maybe even jail. Finding an experienced attorney can help you understand the severity of the charge and what will happen next. Knowing what is coming next will prepare you for the financial costs and repercussions that could occur so you aren’t caught off guard as you go through the process.
No matter if this is your first offense or not, there will be hefty fines for a DUI. Other expenses will also appear as your case continues. States have set minimums and maximums for fines that, depending on the circumstances of your arrest, will be the fine you have to pay to the court for the offense. While these are fairly set, you may have to pay more because the fine can be enhanced by someone getting injured, child endangerment or any association to another crime. While dealing with the court, you may have to pay court fees and costs for classes to try to get your license back.
Getting Your License Back
In Alabama, on your first DUI offense, you automatically have your license suspended for 90 days. For any following offenses, the suspension time will increase. Many times, even if you aren’t found guilty, but are arrested, you can have your license confiscated for some amount of time. In order to get your license back, you often have to wait for the time to pass and pass classes to show that you understand the law. These classes can be educational or may be programs for therapy or treatment in order to get help with sobriety.
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Obligations After the Fact
A DUI doesn’t disappear once your case has been settled. There are lasting obligations that you have to deal with for a long time following your case. You may be required to go to traffic classes or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as a part of your sentencing. These classes are mandated to help you fight the addiction and get the help you need. Another measure that may be ordered by the court to keep this from happening again is requiring you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. An ignition interlock device requires you to blow into it to measure your blood alcohol content before you start driving. These are just a few possibilities of what you may be required to do for months and possibly years after your case has been closed.
After you are convicted of a DUI, your car insurance will increase by a large amount. Drivers who are convicted of a DUI are considered high-risk drivers because of what can occur if they repeat their unsafe choices of driving while intoxicated. Your rates can double or triple what they were before. These rates can last for multiple years following your conviction. In addition to you having to pay more, you also become ineligible for safe-driving discounts that your insurance may provide to others. Some insurance companies will even terminate the coverage you have with them and finding another company could be even harder.
Future Plans Halted
A DUI on your record can prevent you from being able to get a job or go to school. If an employer requires a background check, the DUI will show-up on it. The employer has the right to not hire you because of a DUI. You may also have complications in your current job because you will be missing work for days at a time to go to court, see your attorney and any other obligations connected to your case. For school, you may not be granted admission if you have a DUI on your record. If you are accepted, you likely will not be given any scholarship. Your future plans may be pushed back, but staying vigilant through this hard time will keep you out of trouble and ready for later opportunities.
Your attorney will be able to help you through your DUI case. An experienced attorney can also help you as you continue on with your life. Getting your life back together will be difficult, but not impossible, as long as you are committed and make the right choices moving forward.