On the face of it, getting a DUI conviction can put a serious dent in your finances on top of having to serve jail time. Conservative estimates made by an Orangeburg DUI lawyer indicate that a first DUI offense will cost around $4,500 if you end up convicted. For repeat offenders, this cost can go as high as $20,000.
But these are just the visible costs of a DUI conviction. Unfortunately, there are many other hidden costs, which will set you back financially for many years to come. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation.
Your Insurance Rates Will Skyrocket after a DUI Conviction
With a DUI on your record, South Carolina law requires you to purchase an SR-22 insurance policy when you are eligible to get your driver’s license back. This is a specific type of insurance for people convicted of a serious driving offense. Thus, you won’t find many insurance companies willing to take you on as a client.
Those that do will quote you premiums that can be as much as $3,000 more per year in monthly premiums compared to your rate prior to the DUI conviction. These higher rates will stay the same for around three years.
You May Be Disqualified from Doing Your Job
If you are making good money as an experienced professional, such as an accountant, a lawyer or an engineer, you will find yourself barred from seeking employment in your field of work.
Most professionals will see their license to practice revoked after a DUI conviction. This means that you must retrain yourself for a new type of work. In many cases, it won’t pay as much as you used to make in your profession.
And this is one huge hidden cost of a DUI conviction – a loss not just of money, but also of your hard-earned professional reputation.
Your Credit Score May Take a Huge Dive
Looking over just the fines you have to pay for DUI in South Carolina, the numbers are intimidating:
- $400 for the first offense
- Between $2,100 and $5,100 for the second offense
- Between $3,800 and $6,300 for the third and subsequent offenses.
Your Orangeburg DUI attorney will tell you that if you do not have the money to pay your fine and other associated penalties, they can go to collections. And this will have a big negative impact on your credit score. You will have to work hard and miss no payment deadline for years until you can go back to the value prior to the DUI conviction.
You Will Lose Many Kinds of Educational Opportunities
Many people manage to further their education by applying for various state and federal scholarships. With a DUI conviction on your record, you will no longer be eligible to access these programs.
Moreover, you may also be disqualified from accessing student loans. Last but not least, many universities will not accept your application for enrolment, even if you have the available funds to pay for your tuition.
Your Housing Options Will Be Limited
Most landlords perform background checks on potential tenants. Some of them have a zero tolerance for any kind of criminal conviction, including for DUI. These are usually managers and owners of properties in desirable neighborhoods, close to the business hub and the best schools for your children.
A DUI Will Hurt Your Chances in a Child Custody Case
If you filed for divorce before your DUI conviction and are fighting to win custody of your children, you can be sure that your ex spouse will use this conviction against you. It all depends on how the judge decides to see you: as someone who had a momentary lapse in judgment, or as an irresponsible person who cannot be trusted with the children’s custody.
Protect Your Future, Talk to an Experienced Orangeburg DUI Lawyer!
Getting convicted of DUI can derail your life and career for years. For this reason, you must avoid getting there. A DUI charge does not have to turn into a conviction if you hire an experienced lawyer.
An attorney can find weak points in the state’s case against you and fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
However, you must act quickly and talk to an Orangeburg DUI lawyer as soon as possible after being charged. Most importantly, you must remember not to give a statement to the police without an attorney present.
We offer each new client a free case review, so call us today at 803-353-1969!