Financial Ramifications of a DUI Conviction
May 24, 2021
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol comes with lasting effects. Not only do you face criminal charges that a Fairfax DUI lawyer will need to help you rectify, but there are also financial burdens attached to DUI/DWI. The hidden costs of DUI are lengthy and may include everything from job loss to heightened insurance rates. The right Virginia criminal defense attorney may be able to help you better navigate the path after a DUI/DWI conviction.
Criminal Charges And Fines
It is no secret that a DUI/DWI conviction in Virginia comes with significant fines and even jail time. According to Virginia State Code Section 18.2-270, an individual convicted of DUI/DWI could pay a fine from $250 to $2,500 for a first offense. The minimum fine increases to $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense. In addition to fines, DUI convictions come with standard court costs as well as a state-imposed “sin tax,” adding more expense.
Fines and jail time are not set in absolute stone. There are statutorily prescribed ranges to both, but there are also penalty enhancements and mandatory minimums for particularly egregious cases. High BACs and subsequent offenses can add considerable mandatory minimum jail sentences. If convicted of DUI manslaughter, the mandatory minimum goes to 1 year up to 5 year or 20 years depending on circumstances!
Alcohol Safety Action Program/Treatment
A Fairfax traffic lawyer from Rudolphi Law will also tell you that a DUI conviction will result in having to pay for substance abuse counseling. For first and second offenses, a person convicted of DUI must be referred to the Alcohol Safety Action Program by statute. For third or subsequent offenses, the Court usually requires additional assessment and treatment. This is all paid for by the defendant.
In addition to fines, court costs, and treatment fees, every person convicted of DUI in Virginia must have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicle for a period of time as a condition of restricted driving privileges or restoration of driving privileges. These vehicle breath devices require a monthly fee in excess of $100 per month to maintain.
Fairfax County DUI lawyers cannot change these statutory prescribed sanctions after a conviction. Legal counsel from Rudolphi Law can, however, help you have a fair day in court, so you have the best chance to avoid exhaustive costs related to a DUI/DWI case.
Revocation of Driver’s License
If charged with DUI/DWI, you are at risk of a statutorily mandated driver’s license suspension. Third or subsequent DUI offenders face an indefinite revocation of driving privileges. The restoration of which can be yet another costly process. This is why you need a traffic lawyer Fairfax VA.
You especially need legal counsel if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Losing such a credential could mean the end of your job or career.
Heightened Insurance Rates
Virginia Code Section 18.2-266 requires those convicted of DUI/DWI to show proof of financial responsibility before driving privileges can be restored. Such proof, under Virginia Code Section 46.2-316, comes in the form of FR-44 certification.
FR-44 minimum insurance limits dramatically increase the state’s minimum requirement of both coverage per person for bodily injury and for property damage. Likewise, this is a costly consequent with residual effects.
Call A Lawyer For Help
The criminal and financial ramifications of a DUI/DWI conviction are why you cannot endure the process without a criminal lawyer Fairfax VA. Call Rudolphi Law today to schedule a consultation if you are facing a DUI/DWI conviction in Virginia.