Beyond Incarceration: Other Ways a DUI Can Affect Your Life
For many people, the risk of incarceration is the worst consequence of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. While prison time does sound horrible, other consequences of a DUI conviction exist whether you serve time or not. The following are some of these consequences.
A DUI conviction can have a terrible effect on your finances. According to some estimates, you will spend not less than $18,030 on your first DUI conviction, and the amount has no way to go but up for your subsequent convictions. The amount seems high because:
- You have to pay legal fees for a DUI lawyer to defend your case
- The court may order you to pay monetary fines upon your conviction
- The court may order you to pay restitution to victims of a DUI accident
- You need money to pay for alcohol education classes
- Your auto insurance premiums will rise
If you consider all the above factors, even the $18,000 estimate seems low. Besides, you also have to deal with incidental losses such as missed business opportunities or time lost from work.
A DUI conviction can also affect your career or profession, and the effect comes in various ways such as:
- Background checks — most companies carry out background checks before they hire new employees. Criminal convictions in your past reduce your job chances in many companies.
- Job restrictions — some jobs are sensitive and exclude those with criminal backgrounds; some are even specific to DUI convictions. For example, trucking companies are reluctant to employ drivers with DUI convictions.
- Difficulties with professional licenses — some professional bodies don’t take kindly to applicants with DUIs on their backgrounds.
Unless you are self-employed and don’t intend to apply for any job, your DUI conviction is likely to complicate your job search and advancement.
Driving is a privilege that the authorities can take from you under certain circumstances. A DUI conviction is one of the circumstances in which the government can revoke or suspend your driving license. Remember, the government doesn’t allow you to drive without a license.
For one, the state will suspend your driving license the moment you face formal DUI charges. The administrative suspension of your license remains in place until your criminal case hearing. The court will also slap you with a license revocation as part of its criminal penalties if the court convicts you of a DUI.
You need a lot of time to deal with DUI charges and prosecution, time that you would have used in other meaningful ways. Some of the things that may take up your time after a DUI arrest include:
- Detention time
- Time spent in meetings with your DUI lawyer
- Time spent on alcohol education classes
- Time spent to reapply for the driver’s license
- Time spent in court and administrative hearings
Lastly, a DUI can also have a negative effect on your education. For one, the best colleges receive thousands of applications more than they can handle. If you apply to one of those colleges, every negative thing in your background reduces your chances of acceptance, and a DUI conviction is certainly a negative element.
Secondly, many organizations that offer educational grants or aid also use criminal backgrounds to lock out some applicants. These organizations also receive more applications than they can handle, so they must ensure only applicants without blemishes in their past get the awards.
A DUI conviction is a terrible thing to have on your criminal record. Do the right thing to reduce your chances of a conviction — don’t drink and drive. If you made a mistake and face DUI charges, consult Daniels, Long & Pinsel to help you defend the charges. Contact us as soon as possible so we can begin to work on your case.