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Long-Term Consequences of a DUI Conviction

Long-Term Consequences of a DUI Conviction

When considering the consequences of a DUI, most people first think about the criminal consequences. However, there are numerous other ways that a DUI conviction can affect your life long after your criminal penalties are complete. Let’s go over all the potential consequences of a DUI conviction and how hiring a defense attorney is the best way to avoid these consequences.

Criminal Penalties

The potential penalties will vary greatly based on whether it is a first, second, or third offense DUI.
For a first-offense standard DUI, you face:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • 180 days to one-year-long license suspension
  • One year of probation
  • Community service
  • Mandatory substance abuse treatment program

For a second offense, penalties increase to:

  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • A minimum 10-day jail sentence, up to nine months
  • Five-year license suspension
  • One year of probation
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that is built into your vehicle. Before starting your car, you must take and pass a breath test. If the device detects any alcohol in your breath, the car will not start. You will then have to wait at least 15 minutes before taking the test again.

A third offense could result in:

  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Mandatory minimum 30-day jail sentence, up to one year
  • One year of probation
  • 10-year license suspension
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device for 2 years

Once you are convicted of a fourth DUI, you will likely face felony charges and lose your right to drive permanently.

All of these penalties are severe, but once you have completed them, they are over. Other consequences, however, are long-lasting.

Lesser-Known Consequences

Employment

Because Florida is an at-will employment state, you can technically be fired for being convicted of DUI. At-will employment means that employees can be fired for any reason other than discrimination.

In most situations, you are not required to tell your employer that you were convicted of DUI. However, there are certain exceptions to this.
These exemptions include:

  • If your job requires you to operate a vehicle
  • If your contract states that you must tell your employer of any criminal convictions
  • If your employer states you must report DUI charges
  • If you are applying for a professional license

Insurance Rates

If you are convicted of DUI, your insurance rates can increase substantially. On average, a DUI conviction may result in your insurance costs increasing by 72%.
Other factors that could affect how much your insurance increases after a DUI include:

  • Age
  • How long it has been since your conviction
  • How many DUIs you have gotten
  • Company policy

In some cases, your insurance company may drop your policy altogether.

Traveling Restrictions

Depending on how and where you’re traveling, you may run into obstacles with a DUI conviction on your record.

For domestic travel, there are no restrictions for individuals with DUI convictions. However, some countries bar individuals with criminal records from visiting. If you are planning an international trip, make sure you know your destination country’s laws. For example, Canada has some of the most strict laws and doesn’t allow individuals with a DUI conviction to cross the border. There are still ways you may be granted entry, but you will need to plan in advance. You may be able to pay a fine and be allowed into the country, or apply for a waiver. Either way, you will need to know this prior to your trip so you can take the necessary steps.

Another major difficulty associated with traveling is your ability to rent a car. Many car rental companies will not rent to individuals with a DUI on record within the last 4 years. Each company policy is different, so you will want to check this prior to making a reservation. Additionally, if you need to drive with an ignition interlock device, it will likely be impossible to find a rental car equipped with the device.

Immigration

Being convicted of DUI may affect your immigration status in America. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you may be denied re-entry to the United States, or even deported. If you are in the process of applying for a green card, a DUI conviction may make you ineligible.

It is also important to note that lying about your criminal record in order to maintain your immigration status and benefits is a separate offense. Though it may be scary to admit to a criminal DUI conviction, it is important that you are honest and upfront about your record.

Social Stigma

Despite a significant number of adults being arrested for DUI each year, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding those who drive under the influence.
After a DUI arrest, you may feel:

  • Embarrassed
  • Guilty
  • Ashamed
  • Angry
  • Alone

When you make a mistake like DUI, it can feel like the world is judging you. Sometimes, friends and family members don’t want to hear your side of the story. A criminal conviction of any kind can put a strain on the relationships in your life.

Fighting For Your Future

If you are facing DUI charges, you need to take action. The best way to avoid these consequences is to work with an experienced DUI attorney. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our attorneys have extensive experience handling DUI cases. We’ll do everything in our power to get your case dismissed and keep your record clean. Call us today at (954) 840-8713 to set up a free consultation with our Broward County defense attorneys.