After being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), there are many collateral consequences you will face post-conviction. One of the most common involves a potentially dramatic increase in your auto insurance rates. Depending on the circumstances of your case, if your insurance premiums become too high, you may not be able to afford them.
Fortunately, you may be able to take steps to avoid these consequences by avoiding a conviction altogether. You should speak with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group right away to begin building your defense. In addition to helping you fight the charges, we can guide you on your auto insurance options with a DUI.
The Consequences of a DUI in CA
In addition to the extra cost of insurance coverage when you are found guilty of a drunk driving offense, there are many other ways your life will be affected if you are convicted of a DUI. You may be ordered to spend time in a California county jail or state prison. Where you serve your sentence and for how long will depend on the circumstances of your case and whether you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI.
You will also face fines, restitution to victims, court-ordered community service, court-ordered driver retraining, and court-ordered completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program. You will also have to submit to regular and random drug or alcohol testing and other collateral consequences.
After you are done dealing with the criminal penalties, you may be stuck having to deal with the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. You could have your driver’s license suspended or revoked. You will also need to reveal your DUI conviction as part of your criminal record, which can be extremely harmful when trying to find work or rent a home.
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The SR-22 Insurance Form
You know that you need to find cheap insurance when you have a DUI on your record. However, when you have been convicted of any type of high-risk traffic violation, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be required to provide insurance companies with a form SR-22.
Unfortunately, when you have an SR-22 following you, it will automatically be more expensive for you to get auto insurance coverage. This is for two reasons.
- You will be required to carry higher than average auto insurance requirements. Instead of being subjected to the state’s 15/30/15 rule for bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance coverage, you may need to carry full coverage of $100,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage, $300,000 per accident and bodily injury liability coverage, and $100,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage.
- You will be considered a risky driver. This means the insurance company considers you a risk and has concerns that you will be charged with additional DUIs or cause damage to the vehicle that will result in you or someone else filing a claim with the insurance company.
Generally, if you have been convicted of driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, driving without insurance, or DUI, you will be required to file the SR – 22 for approximately three years. However, the three-year period does not begin until your driver’s license has been reinstated after suspension or revocation.
What a DUI Conviction Means for You
When you have a drunk driving or other serious traffic violation on your record, finding cheap auto insurance coverage will not be an option. Even if you were previously found guilty of a traffic citation where you only pay the fine for a moving or nonmoving violation, the DUI will have an impact on your auto insurance rates.
You may need to shop around and ask for quotes from multiple auto insurance providers, especially national companies such as Geico or Nationwide. However, you may find more success in working with a local auto insurance agency, which can obtain quotes from multiple providers. They may be able to get you entered into the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP), which is also commonly referred to as the non-standard market.
By entering the CAARP, you may be able to secure auto insurance coverage through one of the participating insurance companies. These providers are required to offer service to a certain number of non-standard motorists such as yourself.
How to Clear Your Name
The best way to avoid the need to pay an exorbitant amount of auto insurance coverage is to avoid being convicted of a DUI entirely. However, if you have already been convicted of drunk driving and are looking to rebuild your life, you may have an opportunity to do so.
According to California Penal Code 1203.4, certain types of DUI offenses may be eligible for expungement. If you can get your DUI record expunged, you may be able to get your auto insurance rates reduced, your DUI off your criminal record, and put this mistake behind you. With help from an experienced drunk driving attorney in Los Angeles, you may be able to move forward with an expungement and clear your name once and for all.
Simmrin Law Group works with drivers like you every day, and we do so without judging your circumstances. We are committed to helping you get back on the road safely and with insurance so you can maintain your job and life.
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Call a Los Angeles DUI Attorney for Help Today
Now that you understand how costly a drunk driving conviction will be, you should make defending yourself a top priority. Although you may be eligible for expungement after your conviction, there may still be years that you will deal with the consequences of your guilty verdict.
Make sure you work with a reputable Los Angeles DUI lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group to protect your driving record, finances, and future. You can reach us through our secured contact form or by phone to schedule your confidential consultation today.