If you’ve been accused of DUI in Pennsylvania, the smartest thing you can do is hire an experienced DUI lawyer to fight back against your charges. But good legal representation costs money, and at a time in your life when you’re likely already worrying about fines and potential loss of income, you might wonder if the additional cost of a DUI lawyer is worth it. Isn’t it cheaper to just plead guilty? Not when you consider the true costs of a DUI conviction.
How Much Does a DUI in PA Cost?
If you are convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania, you will be required attend traffic school on your own time and at your own expense, as well as pay the fines levied on you by the State. The minimum fine for a first offense DUI in PA is $300, but depending on your BAC, your prior record, your license type, and whether your case involved an accident, injury, or death, your fines could be as high as $10,000.
Also, if you are convicted of DUI, your car insurance rates are sure to go up significantly, assuming your insurance company doesn’t drop you outright. For a second or third offense, you’ll also be required to pay for an interlock device for your car. An interlock device is a sort of personal breathalyzer that will only let you drive after it tests (and clears) your breath. The price for the typical interlock device is $1,000.
Next, there are the costs of time lost. Even if you’re not convicted, at the very least you’ll need to take time off of work for your court dates. But things get a lot scarier if you’re convicted. A DUI conviction for anything more than a first offense with a low BAC results in mandatory jail time anywhere from 2 days to 60 months. Add that potential loss of work time to the fact that your DUI conviction is noted on your permanent, public criminal record where anyone (including your employer) can see it, and you could risk being fired from your job altogether.
Finally, for all but the most minor offense, a DUI conviction will result in the loss of your license and, if you go to jail, your freedom. How much are those things worth to you? Can you put a dollar value on staying out of jail, on protecting your permanent record, on keeping your ability to drive your car when you want or need to?
When you add up the potential costs of a DUI conviction, you can see why hiring the best, most experienced DUI lawyer to defend you can save actually save you money in the long run. If you’ve been accused of DUI, make the smart choice and put our DUI attorneys in your corner to defend your rights, your freedom, and your pocketbook.