When most people consider the consequences of a DUI conviction, they tend to only consider the immediate legal penalties for the crime. But what they fail to take into account is how life after a DUI in California will be different from life before the conviction. When you look at the drastic changes, it is easy to see just how important it is to fight the charges. Here are a few consequences you may not have considered:
You Will have a Criminal Offense on Your Record
This is one of the biggest changes to expect in your life after a DUI in California as whenever a job, housing, loan or other type of application asks you if you have been convicted of a crime, you will have to say “yes.” Even if you get the charge expunged from your record, your employer will still find out if they run a copy of your DMV report because the DUI will still stay on your driving record for 10 years. This can be particularly problematic if the person reviewing your application knows someone who was victimized by a drunk driver.
You Won’t Have as Much Time to Enjoy Recreational Activities
Life after a DUI in California also involves attending mandatory DUI classes and you may be required to attend AA meetings. If your blood alcohol level was particularly high, you will need to take more classes and you may be required to perform community service such as picking up trash on the side of the freeway. If you had an extremely high blood alcohol level, you may have to attend residential alcohol treatment.
Life After a DUI in California Will Probably be Pretty Budget
Aside from the court fines and legal fees, you will also have to pay for your DUI classes, alcohol counseling and more. When you get your license back, you’ll be paying much higher insurance premiums since you will have to get an SR-22 policy and you may have to pay to install and maintain an ignition interlock device as well. Of course, before that, you’ll either have to rely on friends and family members to give you rides or pay to use public transportation, Ubers or taxis every time you need to go somewhere. This could even impact your ability to get to work and end up costing you your job, making you even more broke.
You’ll Have to Follow Your Probation
While the probation for drunk driving is not as restrictive as the probation period for most crimes, you’ll still have to follow the rules. This means you cannot have any alcohol in your system while driving or you could lose your license and be charged with violating probation.
Police Will Know You Have a Record
The police will automatically know you have a DUI whenever they look you up in their system. They will check your license as soon as they stop you for any traffic offense and if you are driving on a suspended license, your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days, you will be charged with driving on a suspended license. If you are convicted, you could face jail time and have 2 points added on your driving record, which will mean you will lose your license since you already had 2 points from the DUI itself. When you do get your car back you may also be required to install an ignition interlock breathalyzer device on it. DUI lawyers may be able to help you fight this consequence, but it is easier to avoid it all together.
The problems associated with life after a DUI in California are pretty major, DUI lawyers know they can be avoided if you fight them. Skilled DUI attorney Peter M. Liss can help you. Call (760) 643-4050 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Creative Commons Image by David Sledge