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3 potential financial consequences of pleading guilty to a DUI

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Dui |

A driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Missouri can trigger a cascade of different consequences. If someone pleads guilty or gets convicted, the judge presiding over their case could incarcerate them or order them to pay large fines. A license suspension is also a common consequence.

Many Missouri drivers hope to minimize the penalties they face by pleading guilty. They incorrectly assume that the courts may be more lenient toward them if they are as cooperative as possible. The unfortunate truth is that a guilty plea to a DUI offense does not force a judge to be more considerate during sentencing.

Numerous other outside parties could also find out about someone’s conviction, which could eventually lead to a variety of financial consequences. Obviously, fines and court costs from DUI proceedings can set someone back thousands of dollars. The following additional financial consequences are common after a DUI conviction.

Lost income

Some businesses have very strict policies about employee criminal convictions. Workers can potentially lose their jobs over convictions during their employment. They may also find that they have a harder time qualifying for raises, promotions and competitive projects because of their criminal record. Many employees lose out on tens of thousands of dollars in income because of a criminal conviction and the chilling effect that it could have on their careers.

The cost of licensing consequences

When the state suspends or revokes someone’s license, there are costs involved in regaining driving privileges. The driver might even need to pay to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. Even before someone gets their license back, they might rack up thousands of dollars in alternate transportation expenses. Paying for taxis or rideshare services can quickly become prohibitively expensive, especially if someone does not live and work in centralized locations.

Insurance costs

Insurance companies charge more to ensure people who pose a greater risk of sizable claims. Drunk drivers have a strong association with severe collisions. Therefore, insurance companies tend to charge much more for coverage after a DUI offense. According to research into insurance premiums, someone convicted of a DUI offense in Missouri can expect to face a 42.6%  increase in their policy premiums costs. Someone with more than one DUI on their record could expect to pay even more than that. In some cases, drivers may no longer be eligible for the same policy or insurance through the same provider after a DUI conviction.

When people understand the economic consequences of a DUI charge, they may feel more inspired to fight the allegations that they’re facing. Discussing the potential impact a charge could have on someone’s life with a skilled legal team may help them choose the best path forward after their arrest.