For anyone arrested for a DUI, you may be worried about whether you will lose your job, and what other far-reaching consequences you will face if convicted. Not only will a DUI conviction result in criminal penalties, it can have long-term repercussions on your life for years to come. Additionally, you may experience the following collateral consequences of a San Diego DUI conviction:
Increased Auto Insurance Rates
When you are convicted of a DUI, it is likely that your insurance company will raise your premiums. The rate increase will depend on a number of factors including age, gender, driving experience, and history, along with your place of residence. A drunk driving defense attorney can make all the difference.
If your license is suspended or revoked, California law requires you to obtain what is known as a SR22 certificate of insurance in order to reinstate your driving privileges. You must request this certificate from your car insurance company, who will then provide it to the DMV. Having to obtain an SR22 certificate will mean that you are considered a “high risk” driver, which will result in increased costs for coverage. Furthermore, a DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for 10 years.
A DUI conviction will result in a criminal record regardless of whether it is your first conviction or you have multiple convictions. A DUI conviction is permanently part of your criminal record unless expunged. Aside from having to serve jail time, having a criminal record is one of the biggest concerns for people facing DUI charges. This is because having a criminal record can negatively impact housing, employment, and/or educational opportunities as the conviction will show up anytime someone does a criminal background check.
A DUI conviction could also cause you to lose your existing employment. For example, if you have a CDL, a DUI conviction will result in the temporary suspension of your CDL license. Even if you don’t have a CDL, many employers conduct checks of employees’ driving records when they drive on company business, whether they’re driving company cars or their personal vehicles. A DUI could be cause for your employer to decide you’re too great a risk to continue to employ.
If someone was injured or killed in an accident that was the result of you driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, you may have to pay damages to the victims as part of a civil lawsuit. A DUI conviction can be used as evidence in a civil lawsuit that you were negligent and increase your chances of being ordered to compensate accident victims.
Loss or Suspension of Professional License
For professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, or teachers, who are required to maintain licenses with the state, a DUI conviction can result in disciplinary action by the regulatory licensing agency. This may mean having your license revoked or restricted. For someone looking to enter a professional field, a conviction may make it difficult to obtain the necessary professional license, especially if it’s one of the felony forms of DUI.
In addition to the consequences mentioned above, you may also experience the social stigma that sometimes comes with having a criminal record, lose your right to possess a firearm, or face the possibility of deportation or have problems when applying for citizenship.
Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer to Avoid the Consequences of a San Diego DUI Conviction
Attorney Jessica McElfresh understands how devastating the consequences of a San Diego DUI conviction can be and will do everything possible to get your case dismissed or help you avoid jail time by pursuing alternative sentencing whenever possible. She is an experienced DUI attorney who knows how to expose the weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence. She has successfully defended countless clients against DUI charges and she will work to achieve the best resolution for your case.
At McElfresh Law, Inc., we will take the time to explain the California DUI court process and thoroughly review every facet of your case to determine the best legal strategy. To discuss the possible consequences of a San Diego DUI conviction, call us today at (858) 756-7107 to schedule a free consultation.