ndirect Consequences of a California DUI: Large Fines, Steep Insurance Premiums, Loss of Employment, Civil Liability

On behalf of The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson posted in DUI on Friday, March 25, 2011.

Most people would presume that a DUI will likely lead to an arrest and fine. But, there are other financial consequences that result from a DUI charge motorists may not necessarily be aware of.

A DUI offender should understand that an arrest for driving under the influence triggers two legal proceedings: criminal and civil.

The criminal proceeding is confined to the actual arrest and criminal penalties such as possible incarceration, probation and its attendant conditions, fines, and alcohol rehab or education classes.

The civil proceeding takes place with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which has the power to suspend anyone’s license for an alcohol-related driving offense.

If an offender decides to plead guilty or are found guilty in a criminal court of law, the fine for a first DUI offense can range from $400 to $1,300 and, depending on the jurisdiction, jail time of up to 48 hours.

Subsequent DUI offenses will result in longer jail sentences. If a fatality or serious injury occurred as a result of the accident, the offender will be charged with a felony such as vehicular manslaughter. The offender can face several months to a number of years of jail time if convicted and the fine can be several thousand dollars.

Further, many injury victims file personal-injury claims against the offender’s insurance. If the at-fault driver’s insurance is inadequate or nonexistent, then the offender might be subject to a civil judgment for medical costs, loss of income and benefits, property damage and pain and suffering.

All motorists are required to carry liability insurance. Insurance companies, however, classify a DUI offender as high risk (since about 12 percent of fatal accidents are caused by repeat offenders). Consequently, the premiums these individuals can expect to pay for several years are extremely expensive.

An offender can receive a restricted license for work purposes, but a truck driver or someone who otherwise drives for a living might find his employment terminated, especially if the terms of that employment prohibit a DUI conviction and/or license suspension. Time in court can lead to lost time from work, but an extended incarceration inevitably leads to loss of employment.

Aside from predictable fines, the consequences of a DUI can be considerable.

Source: http://duiconsequences.com/

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The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson
411 Borel Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94402

Phone: 650-573-8000
Fax: 650-345-9875
San Mateo Law Office