The Real Costs Of A DUI & How To Avoid Them

Facing a DUI isn't the best-case-scenario for anyone, and most people understand that facing a DUI is generally bad news.

However, there's a common lack of understanding when it comes to how serious and costly DUIs can actually be—especially in the State of Florida. This can lead people to balk at the idea of hiring a DUI attorney to prevent or reduce the impact of a DUI conviction. Many people assume that hiring an attorney would be far more costly than risking the case on their own. In fact, a better understanding of the real costs involved when it comes to Florida DUIs can clear up that misunderstanding rather quickly.

What Are The Actual Costs Of A Florida DUI Conviction?

  • Fees: To begin with, there are many fees and costs associated with a DUI arrest and conviction. Importantly, these are merely the fees that come with the process, not the fines you may be sentenced to. They include:
    • Court Costs: Florida DUI court costs average out to around $500.
    • DUI School Fee: Many people convicted of DUIs in Florida are required to go to DUI school or traffic school, which usually costs around $300.
    • Drug and/or Alcohol Evaluation and Counseling: A Florida DUI conviction may require you to go through evaluation for drug and/or alcohol abuse, which starts out at around $200. If you are required to go through more extensive treatment (especially intensive outpatient or inpatient programs), those fees can rise astronomically
    • Ignition Interlock Device Fees: Many people convicted of a Florida DUI are required to install an ignition interlock device on their car. Many people don't realize that you are required to foot the bill for this device, which can range anywhere from $550 to $1,900.
    • Vehicle Impoundment: When you are arrested for a DUI, your vehicle is impounded while you are taken for processing. In order to get your vehicle out, you will be required to pay a fee. Depending on the circumstances, this can be anywhere from around $100 to over $400.
    • Work Purposes Driver's License: If your license is suspended as a result of a DUI, but you require a car to get to and from work, you will need to apply for a Work Purposes Driver's License. This application come with a processing fee of at least $350.
  • Increased Insurance Rates: Getting a DUI is virtually guaranteed to make your auto insurance rates skyrocket. Often, those convicted of a Florida DUI find that their rates double and, in some cases, even triple after a DUI conviction. These rates often remain inflated for several years after a DUI incident.
  • Fines: In addition to fees, those convicted of DUIs are often also required to pay fines as a part of their sentencing. Fines can vary depending on the type of DUI charges you are facing and whether there is actually a conviction (which very much depends on whether you have sufficient legal representation). In brief, though, the sentencing guidelines for DUI fines break down as follows:
      1. For DUIs with a BAC less than 0.15:
        • First Conviction: $500-$1,000
        • Second Conviction: $1,000-$2,000
        • Third Conviction: $2,000-$5,000
        • Fourth and Subsequent Convictions: at least $2,000, and often far more
      2. For DUIs with a BAC greater than 0.15:
        • First Conviction: $1,000-$2,000
        • Second Conviction: $2,000-$4,000
        • Third Conviction: $4,000-$5,000
        • Fourth and Subsequent Convictions: at least $2,000, and often far more
  • Lost Wages: Having to deal with a DUI can result in lost wages in a number of ways. In some cases, DUI convictions can result in job termination, especially if you are employed as a commercial driver or in a licensed profession. You may also lose your job or the ability to put in work hours because your license is suspended as the result of a DUI, or because you have to commit to community service, drug and alcohol counseling, DUI school, and/or extensive hearings and administrative proceedings.

This is especially true if you are convicted of a DUI and sentenced to jail time, which is likely to result in termination from your job as well as difficulty obtaining another job upon your release.

How Expensive Is It To Hire A Florida DUI Attorney? Is It Worth It?

Considering the astronomical costs of a DUI conviction, it is absolutely worth it to hire an experienced, knowledgeable DUI attorney who can help you avoid conviction, or can at least mitigate the damages (including potential fines) if you are convicted.

While different attorneys may charge different fees, there are certain Florida DUI attorneys who offer extremely reasonable rates as well as flexible payment options. That's what you'll find with Florida DUI Attorney Thomas Hudson and his team at the Hudson Law Office.

Serving the Sarasota and Key West, FL communities, Attorney Hudson will give you personalized, highly skilled legal representation without breaking the bank. Call the Hudson Law Office today for a quote and a consultation on your case, and stop DUI fees from piling up before they start.

Board Certification in DUI Defense

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Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Examination (written and oral) in Honolulu in 2008, and was recertified in 2013 and 2018. He was one of the first 50 lawyers granted national board certification in DUI Defense, and is nationally recognized as an authority in DUI law.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor.