Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can cost you in many ways. There is the embarrassment of making such a careless mistake and the affect a DUI can have on future employment opportunities. There are also monetary consequences, including increased auto insurance premiums and fines imposed by the court. Even an initial DUI can result in hefty fines.
DUI is a Crime
Laws in every state in the nation declare DUI a crime. As such, it carries serious penalties even for a first-time offense. Individuals charged with DUI are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty via plea or through a trial. State law dictates the penalties for a DUI but aggravating factors and level of cooperation of the defendant also affect the consequences.
Steep DUI Fines
Even the most well-behaved defendants may find themselves facing steep fines for a first-time DUI offense. States typically impose fines ranging from the hundreds to thousands of dollars. It is not unusual for an initial DUI conviction to carry a fine of $500. In addition, drivers may be required to attend and complete alcohol treatment programs that tend to cost hundreds of dollars.
DUI is a crime that many people cannot afford to commit. In California, the fine for a misdemeanor initial DUI conviction is $390 plus more than $1,000 in ordinary penalties as well as additional DUI-specific fines, bringing the total to approximately $1,800. Illinois imposes fines and penalties of up to $2,500 for a DUI conviction, whether it is the first, second, or third offense.
Three years ago, Illinois amended its DUI laws, increasing the technology fee by $250 for first-time offenders. Each year, many states revise their DUI laws, stiffening penalties for offenders. Drivers charged with DUI should consult DUI lawyers to learn the current fines and other penalties in effect for convictions in their states. DUIRights.com makes it easy to find a reputable and experienced DUI lawyer without having to do an Internet search or open the telephone book.
When faced with the possibility of a DUI conviction, building a strong defense should be the top priority. A good DUI attorney reviews all aspects of the case and makes a plea recommendation. If mistakes were made during the DUI arrest, this type of lawyer knows how to expose them and plant reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury with the intention of getting the case thrown out of court.