A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in California can have many impacts on your life. You may have to spend time in jail and pay fines. A conviction for a DUI can also increase your insurance rates throughout the state.
Find out how long a DUI affects your insurance in California with this article. Consider your legal options to mitigate the impact of a DUI charge with the Simmrin Law Group. Get fast legal advice by calling us at (310) 896-2723.
California DUIs Can Affect Your Insurance for Years
A DUI conviction in California will stay on your record for 10 years from the time of your arrest. Your insurance premiums can be negatively affected for this entire 10-year period. If the arrest falls off of your record in the middle of a policy period, your rates may remain elevated until it is next time to renew your insurance.
Note that all DUI convictions will appear on your record in California, including charges for driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs.
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DUI Plea Bargains Can Impact Your Insurance
Some drivers in California resolve DUI charges by accepting a plea bargain. Plea bargains allow you to secure less severe penalties if you plead guilty to a different criminal offense. In some cases, a plea bargain can affect your insurance premiums as well.
For example, “wet” reckless charges are often used as a DUI plea bargain. These charges will appear on your record, generally for a period of seven years. While they are on your record, your insurance company can charge you higher rates.
You can find out if a plea bargain is right for you after you are accused of a DUI by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Find out more about your legal options by calling (310) 896-2723.
Insurance Rates and the Expungement of DUI Charges
You may be able to get a DUI charge expunged from your record in some cases in California. Expunging a charge is valuable in some situations, as it means that a potential employer can no longer hold the conviction against you.
However, an expungement will not lower your insurance rates after a DUI. Expungements:
- Remove DUI charges from your criminal record
- Leave DUI charges on your record with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Insurance companies look at both your criminal record and your DMV record when setting your rates. This means that insurance costs can remain high even after a DUI expungement in California.
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DUI Convictions Impact Your Insurance Discounts
As we’ve mentioned, a DUI conviction in California can increase your insurance rates for up to 10 years. Your insurance company can also remove some discounts from your account if you are convicted of a DUI. For example, you may no longer be offered:
- Safe driver discounts
- Preferred driver discounts
The removal of discounts can increase your insurance costs even further. Note also that it can be very difficult to get safe driver discounts back, even after your DUI charge falls off your record in the state of California.
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Some Insurance Companies Cancel Policies After a DUI
Thus far, we have discussed increases in insurance premiums after a DUI conviction in California. You should be aware that some insurance companies will choose not to insure a driver convicted of a DUI, instead of raising their rates.
Insurance companies in California must wait until the end of your current policy period before making adjustments to premium costs or canceling your insurance, so you have time to prepare for these changes.
Some DUI lawyers in Los Angeles recommend looking into other insurance companies after a DUI conviction. You may find a company that offers you lower rates after a conviction. Keep in mind that you must have insurance to legally operate a vehicle in California. Driving without insurance can lead to:
- Jail time
- License suspensions
Speak to a Lawyer About a DUI in California
A DUI conviction can affect your insurance for 10 years in California. You may be able to keep your insurance costs low by working with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as you are arrested. The team at the Simmrin Law Group can work to resolve DUI charges in your favor, so you don’t have to deal with higher insurance rates.
Allow us to start focusing on your defense today. We can work to get your charges reduced. In some cases, DUI charges may even be dismissed. Contact us now to find out more about your legal options with a FREE case evaluation.
Reaching us is easy. Call (310) 896-2723 or fill out our online contact form.