Getting a DUI is always a scary experience. It's a serious offense that will leave you facing various hefty penalties, including expensive fines and even time in jail. However, one consequence for being charged with a DUI that many forget about right off the bat is what these charges will do to your car insurance.
Not only is it possible that you might lose your license as a result of a DUI, the charges could cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket. Unfortunately, that only makes things more difficult financially when you consider the fines and court fees you'll likely wind up paying as well. If you're dealing with a DUI, here's what you need to know about the impact it'll have on your car insurance…
DUI Charges & Your Car Insurance
First, it's important to note that a DUI offense will remain on your driving record for anywhere from three to seven years. During that time, you can expect to pay higher premium rates for your car insurance no matter which provider you have. The reason for the price increase is that car insurance providers will see you as a “high-risk” customer afterwards, which makes it more expensive for them to insure you.
The total increase you wind up paying after a DUI offense will depend on a variety of factors. Some things that car insurance providers take into consideration are: your location, your age and gender, as well as the model of your car. Unfortunately, there's no way around this because you are legally required to have car insurance in order to operate a motor vehicle in the United States so you're going to have to deal with the penalties.
If you find that your current car insurance provider is going to be way too expensive for you to maintain, you can shop around for quotes from other companies. Do keep in mind that rates will vary and they'll be much higher once you report that you've had a DUI. On the plus side, shopping around does give you the chance to find a more affordable rate for the time being.
The good news is, your rates will return to normal once the charge has been removed from your driving record. As mentioned, however, this could take anywhere from three to seven years. So, you don't have to feel defeated in thinking you're going to pay costly rates for the remainder of your life but it will make things more difficult financially for a while.
Once the charge has been removed from your driving record, it may still remain on your criminal record. If you want to get that charge removed completely, you'll have to speak with an attorney about getting it expunged. There are all kinds of rules and regulations that need to be followed when it comes to an expungement though and it's not something that can be done immediately.
Why a Good Attorney is Important & How to Find One
Having an attorney by your side to fight DUI charges is important because it's going to give you a better chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in court. Just because you are facing a DUI, it doesn't mean you're doomed to pay expensive fines or spend time in jail. The right DUI attorney will fight for your rights and can potentially lower or dismiss the charges you're facing.
The key to choosing the right attorney for your case is finding someone who has experience. You want to choose an attorney who has dealt with plenty of DUI cases in the past and has received favorable outcomes for clients. This shows that the attorney is knowledgeable of the laws and defense strategies that can be used and skilled in the courtroom. It's imperative that you seek legal representation from an attorney as soon as possible after being the incident has occurred. Not only can attorney potentially keep you out of jail, but it just might be what you need to prevent your car insurance rates from getting out of hand if you can get the charge off your record.