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Paying a hefty price for a DUI conviction

You may already know the personal cost of a DUI, even if your arrest happened only hours or days ago. You may feel confused and embarrassed, and it may be a long time before you forget the way you felt when you had to call your spouse to say you were under arrest or your boss to explain why you wouldn't be coming to work the next day.

The period of time during and immediately after your DUI arrest may be a blur. Officers likely explained to you the process, but you may have been too shocked to understand what was going on. You probably wondered how this could be happening and what would happen next. As devastating and humiliating as the event was, when all is said and done, you may not believe the total price you may pay for that one bad decision.

A costly mistake

In addition to the internal cost of a DUI arrest, the financial and professional losses you may experience if a court convicts you may be considerable. This is intentional. Authorities want to make a DUI conviction as difficult as possible so that people will avoid drinking and driving and the dangers associated with it. They hope people will learn a lesson before they become part of a drunk driving tragedy. Even if you are a first-time offender, you may expect the following expenses, including:

  • Criminal court fees
  • Administrative hearing fees
  • Towing and vehicle storage fees
  • Blood alcohol content testing cost
  • License reinstatement fees
  • Alcohol abuse education classes
  • Driving classes
  • Attorney fees
  • Increased insurance rates

You may also have to install an ignition interlock system in your car, which carries a monthly service fee. Of course, if this is not your first offense, you will probably face even higher penalties.

More than money

In addition to the out-of-pocket costs of a DUI conviction, you may experience residual effects. Your relationships with family members, friends and coworkers may change because of your DUI. Certainly, your professional life may suffer, especially if your job requires you to drive or you work in a highly sensitive industry. Your employer may not relish the fact that you may have to miss work for court dates, mandated counseling or court-ordered community service. Without a license, you may have difficulty getting to work on time, if at all.

The consequences of a DUI conviction can be life-altering. Seeking assistance from a strong Florida legal advocate may give you a decided advantage.

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