If you were arrested for a DUI then you have probably already spent the night in your local drunk tank (jail cell) and got through your first experience of what happens to those stopped for drunk driving. Once you have been arrested for a DUI, your licence is immediately suspended and in most instances your car gets impounded. If you did have to spend time in jail then you will have to pay to get your car out of the impound lot – take your wallet or your check book because it will cost you. Depending on the length of time for which you car was impounded and where you live, you can expect to pay upwards of $400 to get your car out.
You will next have to find yourself an attorney who specializes in DUIs to help you clear your name. If you are earning less than a certain amount you may be eligible to have a public defender take your case. However, even if you do not fall into that category and believe that you cannot afford an attorney, it is best to find some way of getting the cash to have someone defend you. If it is your first offence, an attorney can find a way to get the charges dropped altogether and have your name cleared so that you do not have the burden of a criminal record. If you decide to represent yourself, you risk the following: probation, community service, DUI school and a criminal record – sometimes also jail time depending on the severity of your charges.
Most people who are unable to afford an attorney end up representing themselves and in such instances, you are likely to get a few days of community service, probation – during which time you cannot be caught for any other offences or face a second DUI and a criminal record. Most people end up having to pay a fine regardless of who is representing them.
If you need to get a restricted licence in order to be able to drive to and from work and to fulfill any community service detail, then you will have to first find an insurance company to cover you. Expect your premiums to increase by as much as five times your current amount. The insurance company will have to mail proof of your coverage to your DMV and only then will you be issued a restricted licence. Furthermore, you will have to pay for this new licence.
Attending a DUI school is one of the better ways of getting your name cleared after being charged with a DUI. As long as you pass, you can then reapply for your regular licence and use it to get a reduction on your insurance premium.