Along with court and administrative sanctions following a drunk driving conviction, there are unspoken penalties that can affect you for years to come.
Commonly, people facing DUI charges will enter a “plea” to their case without understanding the additional ramifications that the charge may carry. These ramifications are not addressed in terms of the plea agreement.
Unfortunately, the law does not require that defendants be notified about additional DUI consequences, which include:
- Additional insurance costs,
- Impact on future employment or volunteer opportunities, and
- The additional costs of court-ordered DUI penalties.
Most people who plead guilty to a DUI are not aware that they will have to file an FR44 with the state of Florida. The FR44 is often referred to as “DUI insurance,” but this is somewhat of a misnomer. It is actually a filing by an insurance company that you are carrying a certain level of insurance in excess of the mandatory minimum state insurance requirements.
FR44s are known to be very costly and are usually only provided by insurance companies who specialize in ensuring those convicted of DUI or who otherwise have bad driving records. In other words — you are in a bind, the insurance company knows it, and therefore they will charge you accordingly.
Generally, a person convicted of DUI is required to carry an FR44 for three years.
Also, keep in mind that your current insurance company may drop you entirely once you enter a DUI plea. This forces individuals to obtain insurance through the insurance companies that specialize in DUI. These companies’ rates are significantly higher than those of the big-name insurance companies.
Proof of FR44 insurance is required by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) after a DUI conviction. You must provide proof of this insurance before you are eligible for a license.
Impact On Future Employment Or Volunteer Opportunities
When you plead to a DUI, you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime. Many people are under the assumption that they can seal or expunge a DUI from their record. Others believe that it will only appear on their driving record. This is incorrect.
Because a DUI is a criminal charge, it will appear on your record for life. This means that it will appear during background checks for employment. It will also appear on background checks to volunteer. You may be excluded from job and volunteer opportunities if you have a DUI conviction.
Also, note that many job applications ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. People convicted of a DUI will have to answer “yes” to this question.
Finally, unlike most misdemeanor criminal convictions, you cannot seal or expunge a DUI charge.
Initiation Interlock And Probation Costs
The court advises a person pleading guilty to DUIs of many of the costs associated with the plea: court costs and fines, investigative costs, and the costs of probation supervision.
However, the court does not advise you of the additional costs regarding the impounding of your vehicle and a required ignition interlock device. Having your vehicle impounded for 10 or more days is generally ordered as a DUI sanction pursuant to Florida Statute 316.193(6)(d). For every day your vehicle is impounded, there is a cost ranging from $150 to $300.
An attorney can ask for the impounding requirement to be waived if certain factors are met.
For DUIs in which breath test results are over a .15 alcohol level or for a subsequent offense or for multiple DUI convictions, the installment of an ignition interlock device will be ordered. The cost of installing an ignition interlock device in your car is approximately $170. Monthly calibration fees are an estimated $68.50.
If you plead guilty to a DUI with an above .15 breathalyzer test result or if you are pleading guilty to a second, third, or fourth DUI, the ignition interlock device must be ordered pursuant to Florida Statute 316.1937. In other words, this requirement cannot be waived.
The attorneys at Denmon Pearlman will ensure that you are advised of all the consequences and penalties of a DUI conviction.