How much does a DUI cost?


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How much does a DUI cost?

How much does a DUI cost? Most people know that a DUI can be expensive.  But exactly how expensive can a DUI end up being?

Note that the above public service announcement image estimates the total costs of a DUI to be $15,700.  Some of those costs are highly variable.  Here are the costs you should know about:

Bail: In most Orange County DUI cases, there is no bail to be posted for a first time DUI.  However, if there is a DUI with child endangerment alleged, or a second time offense, or a DUI with injury, bail could be set, and ranges up to 30,000.  With bail, you or the defendant must pay at least 10% of the bond amount to a bail bonds company to be released, and the bail company pays the full amount, or you can pay the full amount yourself.

The cost of an Orange County DUI Attorney: The cost of a DUI attorney varies widely.  Of course, as you might expect, the more experienced the lawyer, the higher the fees.  Attorneys that specialize in DUI defense in Orange County, or elsewhere, also would charge slightly more than a general practice attorney.

The seriousness of the case also matters.  Cases with priors, an accident, or any enhancements, can cause the fee to rise, for the extra work in fighting for the client, as well as dealing with the civil side of things and dealing with insurance companies and victims. Fees range from $500 up to $10,000 for a DUI.

If the case goes to trial, you’ll pay a lot more, to cover the additional costs of trial.

Court fees and fines: Any attorney fees or retainer doesn’t include fees and fines levied by the court. Those are typically slightly over, or under, $2,000 if the case remains a DUI, and $750 or less if the case is reduced.

Ignition interlock: In Los Angeles DUI cases, defendants must get an ignition interlock installed to regain driving privileges. The device is wired to the vehicle’s ignition system, and you have to blow into the device before starting the car. That isn’t required in Orange County DUI cases, but for a second offender, you have the option to install one to start driving again much sooner than if you don’t have one.

License reinstatement fees: Your license may be suspended after a DUI arrest, if you lose a DMV hearing.  ,You’ll have to pay to get it reinstated, although that fee is $125 for reinstatement after a DMV hearing loss, and $55 after a court conviction.

Lost wages: In a few serious cases, a DUI conviction means jail time, which means lost wages.

How much does a DUI cost – Car insurance rates

The AAA estimates that your car insurance rates could double after a DUI, and your rates are likely to remain high for at least a few years.

California leads to the biggest price jumps in California, where the average premium from the three companies more than doubled. (Credit for the chart below to NerdWallet).

How much does a DUI cost? (Insurance annual rates before and after a DUI)

Age Average good driver Average DUI driver Difference
25 $1,307 $4,001 $2,694
50 $1,066 $3,275 $2,209

Under California law, you are required to get SR22 insurance for a DUI.  Insurance companies can only increase your fees for a three year period from the conviction or the start of the SR22.  But using the above annual rate increases, you can suffer a total increase over three years of over 7500.

What is the total cost of a DUI?

Using the above estimates, you can potentially spend much more than $15,000.  But the realistic estimate above is a total of about $11,000 – still a huge sum, that could easily go higher.

Contact us.

Contact us

If you have questions about the total costs of a DUI, contact us.  We can help and can answer your questions on what steps you can take to lower your cost for a DUI.


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