Any criminal conviction – including DUI – can lead to an assortment of penalties. Most of these penalties have a shelf-life, whether they are a jail or prison sentence, probation, loss of driver’s license along with fines, restitution and civil penalties if a lawsuit takes place.
You serve your time, pay financial penalties and, in time, may get your license back. These are penalties that anyone knows they will face. However, there are other penalties that may linger for a far longer time. These hidden penalties for DUI may surprise you, too.
A tattered reputation and higher insurance rates
Among the hidden costs of a DUI conviction include:
- Tarnished professional and personal reputations: You may suddenly find yourself suspended or out of a job after a DUI conviction. Any potential employment prospects may dry up. Do not forget the damage to your reputation within the community and among family and friends.
- Extremely high auto insurance rates: You likely have not seen such a high number since your late teens and early 20s when you were a huge driving risk. Guess what? Your DUI conviction makes you a huge driving risk again. Rates likely will double.
- Loss in income: If your penalty includes a jail sentence, expect to spend some time away from work. Thus, when you do not work, you do not earn income. Shrinking paychecks are probable.
- Ignition interlock device installation: In New Jersey, a suspended driver’s license may lead to the court ordering the installation of this device, which you must pay for. This device – installed in your vehicle – detects alcohol in your system when you exhale into it and prevents the vehicle from starting.
- Rehabilitation program costs: The court may order you to enroll in a substance abuse program. In other situations, your employer may recommend you do so. In the long run, such a program may help you. However, expect hefty costs. Insurance may cover some of the costs.
These are some of the under-the-surface penalties to expect after a DUI conviction.
Understand these penalties exist
Having a firm understanding of the penalties that come with a DUI conviction likely provides little comfort. Still, if you face this charge, it is crucial to work with a legal ally who may help you get the charge reduced or dismissed.