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The hidden expenses behind a DUI conviction in Florida

A quick Google search for DUI penalties in Florida could lead you to believe that the financial consequences of such an offense are relatively minor. For example, under Florida law, a first-time offender may face a minimum fine of $500 and as little as eight hours in jail.

However, there are far more expenses connected to a DUI conviction--which can come as a bitter surprise to many defendants. In today's post, we provide a breakdown of the additional financial penalties you could face:

  • Driving classes: If convicted of a DUI, you will have to take driving classes through the Florida Safety Council. The cost of the course, as of October 2018, is $275 for a first-time offense and $420 for any subsequent offense.
  • Probation: If you are put on probation, you will have to pay around $50 per month for this supervision.
  • Driver's license: If your driver's license is suspended or revoked, you will have to pay to get it reinstated--which costs $45-$75.
  • Impoundment: If your car is impounded, you will have to pay the cost of towing (around $150) plus the daily storage costs at the impound lot ($50-$80 per day).
  • Ignition interlock device: If the court requires an ignition interlock device be installed in your car, you will pay $70 up front and another $70 per month--for up to six months.
  • Increased car insurance: If you're convicted of a DUI in Florida, prepare for your car insurance premiums to spike. On average, car insurance rates increase by $1,000 per month following a DUI--and this higher rate usually applies for 3-5 years.
  • Additional costs: In addition, you may have to pay for bail and for any property that was damaged in your DUI accident. These costs are highly variable.

All told, a DUI conviction can easily cost you upwards of $40,000. That's why it's so important to avoid a conviction at all costs. Having strong legal representation is the first step to getting you back to your normal life.

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