Driving under the influence (DUI) has many different consequences. However, regardless of the physical damage a driver creates, the state ensures that the punishments deter them from repeating their error. The state of New York takes DUIs very seriously, and the sentences associated reflect this.
DUIs can cost you financially as well as physically and socially. There are fines and fees associated with DUI cases and attorney fees that you will need to pay, and this can be a difficult financial burden for many families.
If you’re facing a DUI, knowing what to expect financially is essential. This knowledge can help you craft a plan to fight your charges if you wish to do so.
One of the most significant financial burdens associated with a DUI is the fines. For a first-time DUI, the fine can be as low as $500. However, for a third conviction or felony situation, you could face upward of $10,000 in fines. These are the basic ranges you can expect:
Please note that these convictions are within five years and apply to misdemeanor charges only. So, for example, if you had a DUI in 2020 and another in 2023, the second would fall under a second conviction. However, you may not be charged for a second DUI if you had a DUI in 2008 and another in 2023. This ultimately depends on the circumstances.
If you hurt or kill someone while committing a DUI, you face felony charges. However, the family of the victim may also aim to press personal injury or wrongful death charges. This could leave you with an incredible amount to pay in settlements and compensation.
You will face a license suspension for a DUI charge in almost all cases. The suspension will be up to six months for your first misdemeanor and increases with each repeated offense.
Many people don’t realize that there are fines and registration fees that you must pay to get your license back. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles has its own set of regulations and will require you to go through its process to regain your license.
In the meantime, you will have to find alternative ways to get to work, bring your kids to school, and run errands. Some people opt for rideshare apps like Lyft or Uber, while others use the New York public transit system. No matter what you choose, you need to factor these into the overall cost of your DUI. Though they aren’t direct fines or fees from the state, they directly result from being convicted of driving while under the influence.
It’s difficult to say how much an attorney will cost, but it’s essential to have one. Without legal support, you will most likely be found guilty of your crime and given the maximum punishment. However, it’s possible to have charges reduced, minimized, or dropped with an attorney on your side. As New York DUI attorneys, we understand the many ways to fight a DUI accusation and get our clients acquitted.
All attorneys charge differently for their services. In many DUI scenarios, attorneys charge by the hour. Therefore, their cost ultimately depends upon how long your case takes and how complicated it becomes. You should speak with any potential attorneys about their fees upfront to ensure that you can afford their services throughout your case. It does not bode well for you if you have to fire your attorney mid-case because of an inability to pay.
You may need to take time off work to attend your court hearings. Many employers don’t offer paid time off for such events, so you may miss out on wages on these days. This is a factor in the overall cost of a DUI. If you are between jobs or looking for a new one, a DUI conviction can prevent you from getting the high-paying jobs you deserve. Many people lose out on larger salaries simply because of their DUI record.
Housing is much the same way. Property owners prefer tenants with a clean background and may turn you down for housing. If they accept you, they may require a larger security deposit or extra fees to protect themselves. Unfortunately, this is another added financial cost of a DUI.
Is a DUI a Felony in NY?
A DUI is a wobbler offense, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. For example, if you get more than two DUIs within 10 years or harm or kill someone, your DUI will likely be categorized as a felony. On the other hand, if you are a first- or second-time offender with no extenuating circumstances, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor.
What Happens When You Get a First-Time DUI in NY?
A first-time DUI is usually a misdemeanor unless you hurt or kill someone in the process. Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, but they still carry some weight on your record. After your first offense, you may face up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and a six-month license suspension.
Can a DWI be Dismissed in NY?
DWIs and DUIs can be dismissed for a variety of reasons. However, as a DUI is a criminal charge, the state must drop the charges for it to happen. If your attorney brings significant evidence in your favor, the state may decide that the charges are no longer valid. This rarely happens to those who try to represent themselves.
Can I Get My DUI Expunged?
DUIs cannot be expunged in New York. However, they only appear on your record for 15 years, which means that potential employers may not be able to see your offense after that time. The only situation where expungement may be possible is if the charge is dropped. You will need an attorney to navigate this process.
For the most comprehensive, experienced, tenacious DUI defense attorneys in New York, trust our team at The Vitaliano Law Firm. Contact us online to schedule a consultation.