Most people are aware that there are serious legal penalties for a DUI conviction. What you might not know is that there are all kinds of non-judicial consequences, including an increase in your insurance premium. When you search for “DUI attorneys near me,” you will find many law firms in Jackson County, KS that can help you weigh your options. It is important to select a qualified lawyer for your case.
Frequently Asked Questions about DUIs and Auto Insurance
How Long Does a DUI Conviction Affect My Insurance?
You can expect a DUI to affect your insurance premium for a minimum of three years. Some insurance companies look back as far as five years when pricing your policy.
How Can a DUI Conviction Affect My Premium?
When you are convicted of a DUI, your insurance company will see it as a sign that you are a risky driver. Policies are priced according to how likely you are to get into an accident. That’s why younger drivers and individuals with other traffic violations pay more for insurance than older drivers and individuals with clean records.
A driver with a DUI conviction can expect his or her insurance premium to double or even triple. That means that if you currently pay $125 per month, your post-conviction rate could be as much as $375 per month. Having other violations and/or previous DUIs on your record can affect the amount by which your rate increases.
How Will the Insurance Company Find Out About the DUI?
Even if you don’t plan on signing up for new car insurance anytime soon, your current insurance company is likely to find out about a DUI. In order to make sure their policies are priced correctly, insurance companies run frequent, randomized audits to check their customers’ records. If you have a DUI and an audit is run, it will show up and your insurance company will reprice the policy accordingly.
Will My DUI Affect My Family Members’ Premiums?
Maybe. Many people are not aware that a DUI can affect their family members’ insurance in addition to their own. Insurance companies know that people who cohabitate often borrow each other’s cars. For that reason, they view one household member’s DUI as a risk factor for all of the vehicles in the driveway.
The Cost of a DUI Goes Beyond Fines and Jail Time
While your conviction might carry a court-ordered fine, the amount of money you will pay to deal with the fallout of the DUI could be much more than the legal penalty you face. Taking our example of a monthly auto insurance payment that goes from $125 a month to $375 a month, the cost of the increase is $15,000 over the course of five years.
In addition to paying more for auto insurance, you will need to pay the fees associated with reinstating your license and submitting to any drug tests that are required. If you are ordered to undergo alcohol counseling, the professional you work with could charge anywhere from $50 to $125 per hour. Many individuals who have their licenses suspended as a result of a DUI find that the amount of money they spend using public transportation adds up over time, too.
Other Non-Judicial Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Jackson County, KS
Your lawyer should take the time to explain all of the lesser-known ways a DUI can negatively impact your life. Before you choose to plead guilty, you should be aware that having a DUI on your record can:
- Cause potential employers to overlook your candidacy for a position
- Make it difficult to rent an apartment
- Disqualify you from jobs that involve driving
- Affect your application to certain colleges, universities, and graduate programs
- Prohibit you from obtaining a rental vehicle
- Trigger some countries, including Canada, to turn you away at the border
- Require you to drive with an interlock device for a fee of $75 per month plus an installation charge of $150
How Can I Avoid the Consequences of a DUI?
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, the government might make it seem like pleading guilty is your best option. They will not tell you about the ramifications a DUI can have on your life. Before you plead guilty, you have the right to discuss viable defense strategies with a lawyer. While pleading guilty might reduce your sentence, fighting the charges and winning is the only way to completely avoid the consequences of a conviction.
Challenging the Results of a Breathalyzer
You might be surprised to learn that many individuals have overcome serious charges despite ample evidence against them. There is a false perception that if you tested positive when administered a breathalyzer, your chances of acquittal are small. In reality, any procedural error in how the test was administered can void the results. Additionally, your lawyer might be able to show that the test you were given was improperly manufactured.
Arguing That the Police Acted Inappropriately
If the manner of your arrest was inconsistent with police protocols, you could have a powerful defense case. The police are required to read you your Miranda rights, and they can only pull you over with due cause. Swerving is not a sufficient reason for stopping you until your car physically crosses a white or yellow line on the road.
Showing That You Were Not Physically in Control of the Vehicle
In some cases, the police might arrest a suspect for being passed out behind the wheel of a parked car. If there is no evidence that he or she was actually driving, there is no case for a DUI. By law, individuals who are using their car as a shelter until they regain sobriety cannot be convicted of driving while intoxicated without further evidence.
These are just some of the examples of the many defense strategies that can help you avoid a DUI conviction. Your lawyer will review the details of your case to create a customized approach based on the weak points in the government’s arguments against you.
How Can I Schedule a Free Consultation with DUI Attorneys Near Me?
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to speak with a drug defense lawyer as soon as possible. While defendants must be given an opportunity to fight the charges, the deadlines come up quickly. The right to have legal representation is so vital that if you are not given an opportunity to contact a lawyer within a reasonable timeframe, you can claim that you were prosecuted inappropriately.
Our law firm offers free consultations to individuals who are considering fighting drug charges and DUIs. When you meet with us for the first time, we will review the possible arguments for and against you in order to give you candid advice regarding your options. Our goal is to help you avoid conviction or, at a minimum, see that your sentence is reduced.
Where Can I Find DUI Attorneys Near Me?
When you are looking for the best legal representation in Jackson County, KS, our team is there for you. We are highly familiar with the laws pertaining to driving under the influence and related offenses. If you are facing DUI charges and need a strong defense attorney on your side, contact Billam & Henderson, LLC.