A recent article published in MSN Money talked about the high costs associated with being arrested for a DUI.
And it’s true: A DUI could easily cost you somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000 to $15,000, from start to finish.
The first thing most people want to do is blame the lawyers.
But here’s the reality: Hiring a good Alabama DUI lawyer may actually save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
Let’s break it down bit-by-bit.
Your initial costs and fines. Upon your arrest, you will more than likely need to post bail. If the charge is relatively minor (first-time, misdemeanor DUI) you may get an automatic bail amount of about $1,000. However, if you have prior offenses or if the circumstances of your arrest were aggravated, you can expect your bail will be much higher – upwards of $20,000 to no bail at all. In any case, your attorney can negotiate at this phase to help reduce your bail amount. We would argue things like your lack of a criminal record, your unlikeliness to flee, your good standing in the community, etc. Not only will this save you bail money off the top, it’s also likely to save you money in terms of allowing you to not miss too much time from work.
Fines and court costs will vary from $500 to $10,000, just depending on the severity of the offense and your prior record.
Other associated costs include mandatory DUI classes. Depending on the program, those can range anywhere from $250 to $750. Not to mention, that’s time you won’t be able to work – for a stretch of anywhere from several days to 15 weeks – so that’s additional money lost as well. However, if your lawyer can get the charges reduced, say to a moving violation, or dropped altogether, you won’t be required to attend these courses.
Insurance premiums are a big cost associated with DUI. According to Insurance.com, a DUI conviction can up your premiums by nearly 20 percent. Others report their rates doubling, or even tripling.The amount of time you pay that increased premium is going to depend on your insurer, but it’s usually dropped after about three years. The average cost for car insurance in Birmingham is $1,345 annually. An additional 20 percent would increase your rate to $1,615 a year, or an additional $800 over the course of three years. But again, you pay a skilled attorney to help you avoid conviction, and you avoid these costs as well.
Then there is the cost of ignition interlocks, which are now required in Alabama for drivers who are convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense. Initial installation is about $200, and then you pay another $70 to $100 monthly to maintain the device. That adds up quickly. You’re looking at as much as $1,400 a year.
Attorneys set their fees based on a number of factors, including his or her education, experience and track record as well as the circumstances of your individual case. DUI case representation can range form $500 to $15,000. It’s really going to depend. The Eversole Law Firm is dedicated to doing all we can to extend our services even to those with limited funds.
We realize that for a lot of people, it can be tough to pay that kind of money. But we also urge you to consider how much more you’ll be paying if you simply give up the fight and plead guilty.