Driving under the influence ranks as one of the most common crimes in the U.S. Many drivers who are charged with a DUI only consider the short term implications. However, a conviction can have long term ramifications that can have a negative impact for years. To appreciate the need for a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, you need to understand the long term consequences of a DUI conviction.
When you are convicted of a DUI, your license can be revoked for a specific period of time depending on the number of previous convictions. Even a first conviction can result in a license revocation of up to 2 years. A revocation may make it hard to get certain jobs where driving is part of the requirement. This is also inconveniencing because you have to take a cab or ask someone to drive you every time you need to travel. While you can still use public transport, commuting can be a hassle. If you defy the order and choose to drive, you stand to face serious penalties. You can even have your car compounded. To avoid a license revocation, it is wise to consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. The lawyer can request for a plea bargain where you get a lesser sentence.
In an age where crime is rampant, employers are now conducting criminal background checks for applicants. A felony or misdemeanor can disqualify you for a job that you are otherwise qualified for. Other organizations that may conduct background checks include financial institutions, university admissions, and housing applications. This means that you may not even get decent housing due to a DUI conviction. It is best to give your case a fighting chance by enlisting the services of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer.
If you are charged with repeated DUI offenses, the courts may order that you install an ignition lock on your car or any other car you will drive. This device is an alcohol breath screener. The garget stops the car from moving if your blood alcohol concentration is above the set limit. The interlock is interconnected with the ignition system. In most cases, this device must be installed before your license is reinstated. The driver is also responsible for the installation and any maintenance costs of the device. The device should not be removed before the time ordered by the courts. In addition to the ignition lock, the courts may also order mandatory DUI classes. These classes also have cost and time implications.
Hefty car insurance rates
Most drivers do not consider the impact of a DUI conviction on car insurance rates. However, the trend is that auto insurance rates skyrocket after a conviction. In some cases, the driver may have to contend with double the premium rate. The increase is due to the risk factor of insuring a DUI offender. The general assumption is that if a person is convicted once, they are likely to be convicted again. The rates may remain high for a period of even up to 5 years. In some cases, an insurance company can refuse to renew your policy or terminate it altogether.
As discussed, a DUI charge can have far reaching and devastating consequences. The background checks, hefty insurance rates, license revocation and ignition lock installations have serious implications on one’s life. It is also possible to lose your visa or immigration status after a conviction. It is therefore prudent for a driver to engage the services of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. These lawyers have the experience and expertise needed to represent you and protect your interests. There are several defenses that can be used in a DUI case. However, it takes a competent and experienced attorney to represent you. The lawyer should be sought immediately after a DUI charge. A simple DUI charge can have long term consequences. This means that you cannot afford to ignore even a first offence.
It is evident that the consequences of a DUI can haunt you for many years. When the stakes are too high, you need to let the experts handle your case. Los Angeles DUI lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of clients. Their experience and knowledge of the law can also work for you.