If you've been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), you likely know that there will be a fine and other court costs if you are found guilty. You are probably also bracing yourself for an increase in your auto insurance rates for several years to come. However, these aren't the only costs that come with a DUI conviction. You can end up paying extra on a number of items.
1. Other insurance. It's not only your auto insurance that's likely to increase. The premiums you pay for life insurance and even your homeowner's insurance will likely be raised. That's because insurance companies look at your arrest record to help them determine what type of risk you are to their company. Most view a DUI conviction as evidence of risky behavior and will likely adjust your premiums accordingly.
2. Company cars. If you work in sales or any other type of job where you qualify for the use of a company-leased car, you may lose this benefit after your DUI conviction and be forced to pay for your own transportation. The company's insurance carrier may decide to deny you coverage under the company policy and, thus, your employer won't be able to let you drive a company car.
3. Interest rates. To add to the cost of getting your own transportation, interest rates on car loans (and home loans, too) will likely get more expensive. Like insurance companies, banks and other lenders charge a higher rate to individuals that they view as being a higher risk. You might even be denied a loan altogether.
4. That new job or apartment. If you are planning to look for a new job or a new apartment, a DUI conviction can also hamper those plans. Many prospective employers and landlords run background checks. That DUI on your record may sway their decision away from hiring you or renting to you. What's more, if you lose your driving privileges because of your DUI charge, you'll be ineligible for a number of jobs that require you to have your own transportation.
While it may sound tempting to defend yourself at your DUI hearing and save the money you'd spend on a DUI attorney, doing so can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the future. A good DUI attorney knows the law as well as the important people within the courthouse hierarchy and can help you get the best outcome in your case.