An arrest—and later conviction—for driving under the influence (DUI) can cost you a great deal of money. In addition to being an immediate financial setback, a DUI can cost you well into the future. In most cases you will need to post bail to get out of jail, or at least pay a bondsman to post the bond for you. In most cases, a typical bond for a DUI case will be from $500-$1500, meaning that you would need to pay a bondsman anywhere from $50-$150 if you were unable to post the full amount yourself. Additionally, if your car was towed at the time of your arrest, you will need to pay anywhere from $100-$200 to release it from the impound lot.
Unfortunately, these expenses are just the beginning of the financial burdens that come with a DUI charge. You will need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you in your case. If you do not have the money to hire a lawyer, you can ask the judge to appoint a public defender to represent you instead. The fees charged by a private criminal defense attorney can vary, but a typical fee for a first-time DUI ranges from $1000-$5000.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will be required to pay a fine of just under $1000 for a first-time conviction, and larger fines if you have had prior DUI convictions or were documented as having a high breath alcohol level at the time of your arrest. You will also be required to pay court costs and to cover the costs incurred by the police department to investigate your case, which are called “costs of investigation.” A typical cost of investigation ranges from $100-$200.
After your case is resolved, you will likely have to pay a much higher car insurance premium. Florida law requires that after a DUI conviction you obtain and show proof that you have obtained liability coverage. This is meant to protect other drivers in the event of a future automobile accident.
The years that follow your DUI conviction may cost you in less tangible ways. You may lose a job or promotion because of your conviction; when you apply for a new job, you will likely be asked about any prior criminal convictions or arrests. A prospective employer will also conduct a criminal background check, and you may be passed over because of your conviction.
A DUI conviction can be a financial setback for both you and your family, with an economic burden felt immediately and likely to continue for years to come. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, I encourage you to seek an experienced DUI attorney. In fact, I recommend speaking to at least three criminal defense lawyers in your area before hiring the attorney whom you feel will be your best advocate.
If you would like to speak with me about your case, please feel free to call me at my office in Orlando, Florida at (407)-415-9626.