The cost of a DUI in Pennsylvania may be much higher than you think.
In Pennsylvania, a drunk driving conviction carries hefty fines, as well as court costs and fees. Potential jail time and a lengthy driver’s license suspension may prevent you from working or possibly even cost you your job. A DUI conviction will also leave you with a permanent criminal record, which will drastically increase the cost of car insurance and may even prevent you from getting a job in the future.
The direct costs of a DUI conviction can add up quickly. When you consider the indirect costs, your DUI can become even more unaffordable.
That is where a DUI attorney can help. At the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we have the expertise to help you beat your charges and avoid some of the associated costs. Call 610-680-7842 today for a free case consultation.
How Much Are the Fines for a Pennsylvania DUI Conviction?
The amount of your fines will depend on whether you have any prior DUI convictions and what your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at the time. According to state law, first offense DUI convictions can carry fines up to $5,000. Second and subsequent offenses carry fines up to $10,000.
These potential fines are daunting, but they are not the only costs associated with a conviction.
What Other Costs Come With a Pennsylvania DUI?
In addition to monetary fines, you must also pay all court costs and fees associated with your case. Depending on your county, you may have to pay more than $1,000.
According to Lancaster Online, your total costs after a DUI could reach as high as $10,000. That figure includes incidental expenses like paying for substance testing, towing and impound fees, the cost of seeking alcohol treatment, and expenses associated with a court-ordered monitoring device or ignition interlock system.
If you choose to participate in an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program, you will also face fees. You will have to pay an initial cost the day you enter the program and you may have a balance due after you complete it.
If you have to attend an alcohol highway safety course, you will have to pay those fees out of pocket. You will also have to pay a fee to get your driver’s license reinstated.
Are There Other Consequences to a DUI Conviction?
Upon conviction for a DUI, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) can suspend your driver’s license for as long as 18 months.
This means you will have to arrange alternative transportation to get to work and school and to run personal errands. The cost of using busses, taxis, or ridesharing services can really add up during this time.
Court dates and any time spent in jail will keep you out of work, so add any lost wages you may have to your total costs. If your employer fires you, getting a new job may be difficult with a DUI conviction on your permanent record.
Finally, consider the extra cost of car insurance that you will face after a drunk driving conviction. According to the Value Penguin, your car insurance rates may double after a DUI conviction.
Can a Lawyer Help Reduce the Cost of a Pennsylvania DUI?
An attorney may be your best bet for beating the high costs of a Pennsylvania DUI. At the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we can negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction or dismissal of your DUI charges or help you enroll in a diversion program. These outcomes will greatly lower your costs and may save your case from going to trial.
We offer free consultations to DUI clients. We can help you make the right choice for your future. Contact us today at 610-680-7842 to talk to a lawyer.