If you've been arrested on a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, you may think defending yourself and leaving your sentence to the mercy of the court is a good way to save a little money. However, being convicted of a DUI offense (even if it's your first time) can have a number of unexpected ramifications. Hiring a good criminal lawyer to defend you in court may actually save you money in the long run.
Consequences of a DUI conviction that you may not have considered
1. You could lose your company car. If you have a job where your employer provides the use of a car (and insurance and license), you could stand to lose your transportation if the company's insurance carrier chooses not to insure you after your DUI conviction.
2. You'll pay more for your car insurance. Even if you drive your own car (and not a company car), you'll have to pay more for your auto insurance with a DUI offense on your driving record.
3. It will show up on a background check. Prospective employers and landlords will learn about your DUI conviction when they run a background check on you. This may color their decisions about whether they will hire you or rent an apartment to you. It is also unlikely for someone to hire you for a new job that involves driving, such as work as a delivery person or outside salesperson.
4. Your other insurance rates may also increase. It's not just your auto insurance rates that are likely to increase after a DUI conviction. Your home and life insurance carriers are likely to see you as an increased risk and adjust your premiums upwards accordingly.
5. You may pay more for home and auto loans. Lenders also use a background check to determine what type of credit risk you are to them. A DUI conviction will likely impact the interest rate you are offered and possibly even cause you to be turned down for a new home or car loan.
Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense. Not only are there short-term consequences like fines, loss of your driver's license and possible jail time, but a DUI conviction can cost you more for years in higher interest rates, higher insurance premiums and lost opportunities. Hiring a criminal lawyer like Alexander & Associates, P.C. can help you mitigate these consequences as much as possible.