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Examining the true cost of a California DUI

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | Criminal Defense

When a California law enforcement official stops your car and has you take a breath test, the results of that test may have a significant impact on your future. While a conviction for driving under the influence may prove embarrassing and make it more difficult for you to get to school or work, it is also going to cost you a hefty sum of money.

Per the California Courts, the financial repercussions associated with even a first-time DUI in California are staggering. After factoring in the various expenses directly relating to your DUI arrest and conviction, you should expect to have to pay around $45,435 following your drunk driving arrest.

Fines, fees and related expenses

After a DUI arrest, expect to have to pay towing and impound fees to get your vehicle back. On average, this may cost you about $685. Once you are able to secure a license reinstatement, you then have to pay a license reinstatement fee, which should cost around $100. Then, you have to finance DUI classes, and you may also have to pay an attorney to help you navigate your case. While there is considerable variation in terms of how much an attorney might cost you, most California residents facing DUI charges wind up paying about $4,000 for legal representation.

Automotive insurance expenses

While fines, fees and the costs associated with legal assistance are high, one of the most significant expenses you may face is that of higher insurance premiums. A DUI remains on your record for years, and you must pay higher insurance rates while it remains there. Over time, increased insurance rates may cost you as much as $40,000.

Not every DUI arrest results in a conviction. Sometimes, issues with breath test results or unwarranted traffic stops result in a DUI charge undergoing dismissal.


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