Everyone knows that a DUI can be expensive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average cost nationally for a DUI is $10,000. In Florida, fines aren’t the only thing you have to worry about if you are charged with a DUI. There are hidden costs associated with the charge, and many people aren’t aware of how much their first DUI will cost them in the long run.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, don’t hesitate to contact The Ticket Lawyers now. The cost of hiring an experienced lawyer pales in comparison to how much you can spend if you face a first DUI conviction. Our team can handle the complexities of a court trial that you don’t have time for.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. We will explain the costs of our representation and how we can help you avoid the serious consequences of a first DUI conviction.
Call The Ticket Lawyers now at (855)-323-8488
Court-mandated fines for a first offense DUI range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $1,000. If you had a BAC of .15 or there was a vehicle in the car at the time of the incident, these fines range from $1,000 to $2,000. However, the cost of a Florida DUI doesn’t stop there.
Driving under the influence is also an administrative charge and results in an automatic license suspension, according to Florida Statute 316.1932, known as “implied consent law.” The DMV gives motorists 10 days to use their DUI ticket as a driving permit. After that period has passed, your license will be fully suspended, reinstated for work provisions only, or fully reinstated for unrestricted use depending on your actions. You will need to submit an application for a hardship license and pay administrative fees that cannot be reimbursed.
If you are unable to obtain a hardship license, taxis might be the only option for transportation you have left after a DUI conviction. The minimum fare for a taxi ride in Florida is $7.50, much more than the cost of gas for your own vehicle. Multiply that by dozens of rides, and you’re facing hundreds of dollars in transportation expenses.
In addition to transportation costs, a DUI may result in the court-ordered installation of an ignition interlock device. The average monthly lease for an IID is $95-$125, with an installation fee of around $100. Some companies waive the installation fee, but you are still looking at around $700 to have an IID in your car for six months. An ignition interlock device is mandatory for six months if you were arrested with a BAC of .15 or more.
You may also be forced to take DUI classes and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation course. As of 2017, DUI driving classes cost $265 for a first DUI conviction. Any drug testing that might occur during your probationary period will also come out of your pocket.
The cost of driving under the influence isn’t listed on the court’s website. There are a plethora of other expenses that you might not think of but will undoubtedly surprise you after your first DUI conviction. In addition to the above-mentioned expenses, you might need to cover bail, court costs, vehicle towing and storage, a community service insurance fee, and monthly fees for your probation.
Your best bet to avoid paying for all of this is to hire an attorney from The Ticket Lawyers to fight your DUI and hopefully get your charges dismissed or reduced.
When you are arrested for a DUI in Florida, you usually spend at least one night in jail until your BAC reaches acceptable levels. If your BAC is very high, you will probably spend more time in jail than if you just had a few drinks.
Bail for a first time DUI is usually set at $1,000. You may wish to just wait out jail time to avoid paying this cost out of pocket or through an expensive bail bondsman. This figure can change depending on the Florida county you were arrested in and the specific laws and bail regulations that the county may utilize.
A first DUI conviction in Florida is not typically classed as a felony offense. First and second offense DUI’s are misdemeanors, carrying little to no jail time and fines of up to $2,000.
However, a first offense can be upgraded to a felony charge if serious injury or more than $500 in property damage occurred as a result of the DUI. A felony DUI conviction is considered a felony in the third degree and might result in up to $5,000 in fines and a maximum of five years in prison.
That being said, it is rare for a first offense DUI to result in a felony conviction. Usually, first DUI convictions do not result in much jail time, if any, and are not pursuable for pain and suffering damages.
The cost of a DUI attorney ranges depending on the level of experience, skill, and reputation that an attorney might have. A novice attorney will cost less than one with an established reputation.
If your DUI in Florida is a misdemeanor offense, attorney fees will range from around $1,500 to $7,500. If your DUI resulted in serious injury or death, you might be charged with a felony. Felony attorneys cost more because it is typically a long court process, and there is more paperwork involved with the charges. A felony DUI attorney can cost up to $10,000.
An extremely expensive attorney cannot guarantee a dismissal of your DUI charges. The court may still hand you a conviction. Choose your lawyer wisely, and don’t be tricked by any guarantees. A good attorney will explain the risks and consequences of the charges and won’t claim to be a get out of jail free card.
Florida No-Fault law, listed in Florida Statute 627.7407, means that victims of a motor vehicle accident cannot sue responsible parties unless they sustained serious injury. If your DUI led to serious injury or death, you could be sued for pain and suffering damages.
How much you can be sued for will depend on the circumstances of the case. Pain and suffering damages are complex and are calculated using non-objective arguments that the court must agree on. The plaintiff’s attorney will argue for measured compensation for something like depression or anxiety, which can result in thousands of dollars in damages that your insurance might not cover.
Any lawsuit for general or punitive damages will be separate from your DUI conviction. Pain and suffering damages are sought in civil court while your DUI trial will occur in criminal court. You are advised to hire a defense attorney who can handle civil claims in addition to criminal defense if you think you could be sued for your actions.
Auto insurance rates can be negatively affected by a DUI conviction, even if it is only your first offense. Insurance premiums can go up by nearly $1,500 per year if you are caught driving under the influence. DUI arrests place motorists in a “high risk” insurance category, which is typically quite expensive. Some insurers may even cancel coverage altogether, although this is rare for a first offense conviction.
Contact your insurance provider to get an exact figure on how much a DUI might increase your rates and if they will continue to provide coverage after a conviction.
Your CDL (commercial driver’s license) can be automatically suspended for one year if you are convicted of a DUI. This happens even if you weren’t driving the commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest. Any subsequent DUI’s can result in a lifetime suspension of your CDL.
Some jobs requiring a CDL may fire employees with a single DUI conviction. No one knows exactly what goes on behind the scenes, but bosses may view a DUI as a financial and legal liability to be avoided at all costs. This can be financially devastating if you rely on your driving job as your main source of income.
If it’s your first time being charged with driving under the influence, you might be worried about what’s about to happen. Am I going to jail? How much is this going to cost me? Can I lose my job because of this?
Here at The Ticket Lawyers, we have your best interest at heart. We want to help you avoid as much of the financial burden a DUI presents as possible. We offer a free consultation where we’ll go over your legal options and outline the benefits of our representation.
Don’t wait for the bills to pile up.
Call The Ticket Lawyers now at (855)-323-8488.
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