Charges for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in fines and jail time. DUI convictions in California can also increase your insurance premiums for a lengthy period of time. Review this article to find out how long a DUI negatively affects your car insurance in California.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can also help you review methods to handle DUI charges to reduce their severity. Contact us at (310) 997-4688 to go over your legal options following a DUI arrest in California.
DUIs Can Impact Your Car Insurance for 10 Years
A DUI conviction in California can impact your car insurance until the conviction no longer appears on your criminal record or your record at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DUIs remain on your record for 10 years, so they will affect your car insurance for a decade.
Note that a DUI conviction will not only impact your insurance rates directly. You can also lose bonuses that kept your insurance costs low. Your insurance company will likely revoke any good driver discounts you’ve earned following a DUI conviction.
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DUIs May Not Change Your Insurance Right Away
You should be aware that your insurance company cannot change your rates mid-term. This means there should not be major changes to your insurance premiums until it is time to renew your insurance policy. However, if you apply for new coverage, your company can increase your rates immediately.
Note that a DUI conviction can mark you as a “high-risk” driver in the state of California. Insurance companies are often hesitant to cover high-risk drivers. This means that your company may:
- Drop your policy completely
- Increase your rates significantly
DUI convictions can increase your car insurance rates by double – sometimes even triple – what you paid before your conviction. You may be able to avoid this increase if you handle DUI charges the right way by working with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Find out more by calling (310) 997-4688.
You May Need to Get SR-22 Insurance Following a DUI
The DMV may suspend your license after you are arrested for a DUI. In this situation, you may need to acquire SR-22 insurance before you can get back your driving privileges. SR-22 insurance is not a stand-alone policy, it only proves that you are carrying the minimum allowable amount of insurance.
You will need another car insurance policy to acquire SR-22 insurance. You need to contact your insurance company to request this form. Note that some companies don’t offer SR-22 insurance. In this situation, you will have to contact a different company for insurance, and they will likely quote high rates based on your DUI conviction.
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to help you avoid a license suspension in California. If your license is not directly suspended following a DUI, you may not have to acquire SR-22 insurance.
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DUI Expungements Don’t Help with Insurance Increases
Some drivers wonder if they can lower their insurance premiums by having a DUI charge expunged in California. An expungement will remove a DUI charge from your criminal record. Expungement does not wipe out the record kept by the DMV.
Your insurance company looks at DMV records when determining policy rates. This means that an expungement will not help you lower your insurance rates. You need to handle a DUI charge before a conviction to keep your insurance costs low.
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Take Charge After a DUI Arrest in California
It’s important that you get professional help quickly if you are arrested for a DUI in California. A conviction can cost you in jail time, fines, and increased insurance rates. A DUI lawyer can begin working on your case immediately by:
- Advising you during legal interviews
- Investigating your case and interviewing witnesses
- Working to block evidence against you
- Looking over any plea bargains you are offered
- Fighting for you in the courtroom
Plea bargains are often offered in DUI cases in California. However, some plea bargains – especially those involving wet reckless charges – will increase your insurance premiums significantly. Make sure you don’t accept a plea bargain without allowing a criminal defense lawyer to assess it.
Get Help Before a DUI Negatively Affects Your Car Insurance
A DUI can negatively affect your car insurance in California for 10 years. Fortunately, you can get professional help taking on these charges now by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group. Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can stand up for you today, starting with a FREE consultation.
Reaching us is easy. Complete our online contact form or call (310) 997-4688 and focus on constructing a strong defense.