A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in California can impact your life in a number of different ways. You may have your driver’s license suspended while facing fines and time in jail, for example.
All of the restrictions associated with a DUI conviction can feel overwhelming. You might even wonder if you can buy a car with a DUI in California. Find out how a DUI impacts your ability to purchase a vehicle with the Simmrin Law Group. Call us at (310) 997-4688 if you are charged with a DUI to get legal help.
A DUI Won’t Directly Prevent You from Buying a Car
In order to buy a vehicle in California, you will need to provide:
- Proof of your identity, such as a license or passport
- Proof of your address, such as a current utility bill
- Proof of your income, such as recent pay stubs
- Proof that you have insurance
You can technically purchase a vehicle after you are convicted for a DUI in California. While your license may be suspended or revoked after a DUI conviction, a driver’s license is not the only form of identification available to you. You may also use a state-certified identification card or even your passport as proof of your identity.
Note that you will need to use a physical address when purchasing a vehicle in California. You will also need insurance before your vehicle can be appropriately registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
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Insurance Rates Can Make It Difficult to Buy a Car After a DUI
As we mentioned, as long as you have a valid proof of identification, insurance, and a place of residence, you can purchase a vehicle in California. You should be aware that a DUI conviction in California can greatly increase your insurance rates.
Drivers convicted of a DUI in California may find their rates doubled or even tripled for car insurance. Your rates cannot be raised during your term of insurance. However, if you purchase a new vehicle it will prompt your insurance company to check your record with the DMV. The company can then raise your rates because you are changing your policy by adding a new vehicle.
You may want to consider increases to your insurance rates before you purchase a new vehicle following a DUI conviction.
You Cannot Drive a Vehicle Without a License in California
As we have discussed in this article, you can purchase a vehicle even if your license is suspended or revoked by the DMV after a DUI, as long as you have a valid proof of identification. However, you cannot drive your new vehicle if your license is suspended or revoked.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license for a DUI conviction is a criminal act in California. You can face the following penalties if you are convicted:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to one year
If you’re accused of driving on a suspended or revoked license you can get help quickly by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Just call (310) 997-4688 to speak to a legal professional today.
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You May Need to Install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on a New Vehicle
Starting in the year 2019, California began using a statewide program for IID usage following DUI convictions. Under this program, most drivers convicted of an alcohol-related DUI are required to install an IID on all vehicles they drive or own.
You can continue to operate a vehicle regularly with an IID-restricted license. This means that, if you purchase a new vehicle, you will need to get an IID installed on it before you can drive it. However, once the IID is installed, you can drive your new car as you wish.
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Protect Your Ability to Drive with a DUI Lawyer
As you can see, you can buy a car with a DUI in California, but the conviction can make it harder for you to get insurance and operate your vehicle in the way you want. You can take charge of this situation by working to resolve your DUI charges before you are convicted.
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can focus on building a strong defense for you right now. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group know what it takes to help drivers in your situation. We may be able to get your charges reduced. In some cases, DUI accusations in California can even be dismissed. You can reach us easily by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.
Protect your driving privileges after a DUI arrest by contacting us for a FREE case evaluation.