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The True Cost of a DUI Charge and Conviction

May 24, 2012

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The real and ongoing consequences of a DUI charge and conviction can be surprising because they go beyond harsh penalties like jail time, time spent in court, and the loss of driving privileges. In fact, a DUI charge can end up costing more than $10,000 – in some cases much more – when you add up all of the expenses associated with the arrest, trial, and fees.

How does the real cost of a DUI charge and conviction stack up? First, there are the initial expenses associated with arrest. Depending on where the alleged drunk driver was arrested, he or she may have to pay towing and impound fees that could cost a few hundred dollars or even a thousand. Because DUI is a criminal charge, our hypothetical driver could have to post bail before trial, so add $500-2,500 to that. The attorney fees can run anywhere from $ 1500 to $15,000 or more for a jury trial or appeal, and court fees can add another $515 to $ 8,000. The costs aren’t done rising yet, though. Insurance carriers tend to look down on those arrested for drunk driving, so assuming the driver pays the $100 (in NH) or $500 (in MA) for license reinstatement, his or her car or motorcycle insurance premiums can rise substantially. Plus, if the driver lives in NH and is convicted in MA, or vice versa), he or she will pay license reinstatement fees in both states – adding $600 to the total.

Depending on the outcome of the trail, a convicted drunk driver can face hefty fines that may amount to thousands of dollars, along with the hidden costs of time away from work doing community service or the price of participating in mandatory alcohol treatment programs or substance abuse courses. A court ordered ignition interlock system may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and the same goes for electronic home monitoring. For some drivers, even a DUI charge can result in the suspension of professional licenses, and losing a driver’s license may mean getting fired from a job that requires commuting. Our hypothetical driver may never again be able to get life insurance or visit countries that refuse entry to anyone with a criminal record.

Now can you see how important it is to contact qualified, experienced representation if you have been accused of driving drunk? A drunk driving conviction can literally cost you your financial freedom. DUI attorney Michael Bowser has years of experience successfully defending those accused of drunk driving in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. If you have been charged with a DUI in Massachusetts or New Hampshire or have questions about DUI penalties in either state, it is vital that you talk to representation who understands the law. Call Attorney Michael Bowser today at 1-888-5BOWSER to discuss DUI penalties and your individual circumstances.

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