Q: How much does car insurance go up after a DUI?
A: Since car insurance rates are based on driving history and projected risk, it stands to reason that a DUI conviction will result in higher insurance rates. How much those rates go up depends on the state. In Colorado, insurance rates jump around 18% following a DUI conviction while North Carolina sees a median rate increase of more than 300%. To put that in further perspective, consider New Jersey; the state's average insurance rate is $1,419, but the average rate with DUI increases 132% to $3,292.
Q: How much does a DUI cost?
A: DUIs are expensive. In addition to attorney fees that often run the gamut from $700 to over $4,000, there may also be bail costs, court-ordered fines, alcohol education courses, traffic school, DMV fees, the cost of increased insurance rate, fees associated with recovering an impounded car, and the possibility of paying for a court-ordered ignition interlock device. All together, the average cost of a DUI sits at around $6,500 not counting peripheral expenses, such as alternate transportation while unable to drive and lost income due to court dates and incarceration.
Q: Can I contest a DUI without a lawyer?
A: While it's possible to contest a DUI without a lawyer present, case law is complex, and navigating those laws can be tricky. A DUI lawyer can't guarantee a positive outcome, but they are in a far better position to make crucial moves, such as challenging the legality of the original traffic stop, questioning the officer-led sobriety tests, and introducing evidence that could lead to an exoneration. In short, it's tempting to save money by going it alone, but the consequences could be costly. Before deciding against a lawyer, take advantage of a free consultation and weigh their recommendations. If budget is a factor, there are court-appointed public defenders who may take on the case.
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