You can be arrested for a DUI in the state of California if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.08% or more. A DUI charge picked up in the state of California can end up costing more than you think. In fact, a DUI charge may easily be one of the most expensive misdemeanors you can incur in the state of California.
Standard Costs Involved With A DUI Charge
In addition to the stress a DUI charge can carry, it is certainly an expensive crime as well. For a first-time offense, the total charges can add up to a whopping $45,000 or more! And that’s if no one gets hurt, and there are no medical bills involved!
You’re probably wondering what goes into such a number to make it so high. Here’s a quick breakdown of the typical costs involved with an average DUI – again, one in which no one gets hurt:
- Car insurance rates. These increases can easily add up over time – especially if you incur another at-fault accident or DUI charge in the future.
- Impound fees. These include towing and storage fees that can add up to about $700.
- DUI classes. These classes can be Court-ordered, and you will have to pay for them out of your pocket. An average course costs about $650.
- Driver’s license reinstatement. This will cost you about $100.
- Lawyer fees. These are variable, depending on who you hire and the duration of your case.
The list provided above is not all-inclusive. There are several costs and fees that can be attributed to a DUI charge, but that not every defendant has to pay. The above list does not include:
- Bail bond costs
- Booking fees (That’s right – you have to pay for everything from the photography fee for your mugshot, to the processing fee for your fingerprints.)
- Court-imposed fines
- Paying to fix the damage to your car
- Paying to fix the damage to the other person’s car
- Medical expenses, if the other party was injured
- Your own medical expenses that your insurance doesn’t cover
- Installing an interlock device in your car
- Lost wages from time missed at work while attending court appearances and possibly while recovering in the hospital
- Transportation costs while your license is suspended or revoked
All told, a DUI charge can easily run you thousands of dollars. But it doesn’t have to. Many of these charges only apply if you are convicted. Therefore, the sooner you speak with a DUI lawyer after your arrest, the better position you will be in to make the strongest case possible.
In addition to the costs and fees involved with a DUI charge, there are several criminal penalties a defendant can suffer as well. These penalties increase in severity, depending on whether the crime is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Generally, if this is your first offense, and if no one was killed or badly injured, then chances are good that the charge will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. The most common sentence for a first-time offense is a term of probation that lasts between three and five years. As a condition of your probation, you may be subject to the following:
- Prohibited from driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system, even a legal amount
- Prohibited from participating in any further violations of the law, except for minor traffic violations
- Court-ordered attendance in a support group or related program
- Roadside alcohol testing, if an officer requests it
If you do not comply with any of these terms, then you may be charged with violating your probation, which can result in jail time. However, here at the Simmrin Law Group, we understand that sometimes life gets in the way, or sometimes you make a mistake. Whether you completely forgot and had a drink, or whether your transportation fell through and you missed a support group meeting, we can help you explain your situation to the court and potentially avoid a probation violation.
A DUI Charge Can Be Pricey. If You’re Facing One, Call Us!
It may not appear to be the case at first, but a DUI charge can easily bankrupt you with all of the fees and charges associated with it. Let our experienced criminal defense lawyers help you build the best defense possible in an effort to avoid a conviction that can mean both jail time and bankruptcy.
Fill out the form to the right or call us at (310) 997-4688 to speak with one of our qualified professionals and enjoy a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers with no obligation to retain.