Getting a DUI or DWI can be a scary and overwhelming experience. The consequences don’t end when you are released from police custody, either. These charges can affect your life for years to come with repercussions that can damage your family life, career, and in particular, your finances. The courts have tried to make DUI and DWI charges more expensive in order to act as a deterrent to would-be offenders. Unfortunately, many people aren’t swayed by the costs involved and proceed to drive while under the influence. What many people don’t realize is that the cost of a DUI or DWI isn’t just the fine you pay for the offense (although it can be substantial). The costs involved in the charges come from a number of sources, some of which you might surprise you. Let’s take a look at how much this kind of charge could end up costing you and how those numbers add up.
How Much Does a DUI or DWI Cost?
As we examine these numbers, it’s important to keep in mind that the final cost of the charge is going to depend on a number of factors, including whether or not this is your first offense, the severity of the crime, the kind of charge, and other extenuating factors.
- Fines. The fines related to your charges will depend on the charges themselves. There are five different levels for DUI offenses in North Caroline, with the most expensive level including a fine of $4,000. If you are charged with aggravated Level 1 DUI, you will be paying a fine of up to $10,000.
- Court costs. Along with the fine, you can expect to pay a number of court costs involved with your case to cover the time of the court system to hear your trial.
- Legal fees. These can vary greatly depending on the lawyer that you choose. There are many experienced Beaufort lawyers like Cummings & Kennedy who offer an affordable legal defense for DUI charges.
- Higher car insurance rates. Your insurance rates are about to skyrocket. Insurance companies will learn of your DUI charge and raise your rates accordingly.
- Alcohol education classes. You’ll be looking at around a couple hundred dollars for these education classes, and more if you are ordered into a substance abuse treatment program.
- Repairing or replacing your vehicle. If you did damage to your vehicle, you’ll need to pay for the repairs or replace the vehicle entirely if you totaled it.
- Transportation costs. Many DUI charges result in the loss of your driving privileges for a period of time, usually 30 days. You’ll need to factor in your transportation costs for those 30 days.
- Various fees. You’ll pay a fee for a breathalyzer in your car, a fee to reinstate your driver’s license, a fee for a substance abuse assessment…the list goes on and on, and you can bet that the courts are going to give you a fee every step of
So what’s it all come out to? The average cost of a first-time DUI offense in North Caroline is somewhere between $5,000 and $7,500.
Is It Worth Hiring a Beaufort Lawyer?
Some people are reluctant to hire a lawyer in Beaufort for their DUI charges. They assume that it’s an additional cost that they don’t need to take on since they are already looking at thousands of dollars in fines and fees. The truth is, though, hiring an experienced DUI attorney can actually help you save money. Reducing charges, negotiating fees, and helping you get your driving privileges back sooner are all things that can help you save money and get your life back on track. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s time to get the help you need. Contact Cummings & Kennedy today for a free consultation about your case.