Laws against driving under the influence (DUI) can be extremely severe. Subjecting people to steep fines, a lengthy license suspension, and possibly even jail time for what may have been a one time mistake can seem unnecessarily harsh in some cases. However, these are only the criminal and administrative sanctions that you will be facing, if you have been charged with DUI in the state of Washington. Unfortunately, these are not the only repercussions you could face if you get convicted for DUI. Other, “unofficial” punishments for DUI are everywhere. These are the “collateral consequences” of a conviction.
Here are just a couple of examples of the collateral consequences of a conviction for DUI in Washington.
Increased Car Insurance Premiums
Regardless of whether you have learned your lesson about drunk driving, and have sworn off ever doing it again, your car insurance company will raise its rates. A DUI conviction or guilty plea on your record makes insurance companies consider you to be a “risky driver” who is statistically more likely to get into an accident. To cover their potential costs down the road, they will raise their rates and increase the premiums that you have to pay to stay insured.
Unfortunately, there is little you can do but pay the higher rates. Washington requires you to prove that you are insured for three years after a conviction for DUI. If you stop paying these higher premiums for car insurance, you stand the chance of losing your license.
An increase in your car insurance payments is a classic example of a collateral consequence. It is definitely a punishment that comes from a DUI conviction, but it is not issued by the courts or government.
Job Difficulties After a DUI Conviction
Another collateral consequence of a DUI conviction could be difficulty in getting a job. Many job applications have a section about your criminal background. If you plead guilty or get convicted for DUI, you will have to check the box asking you whether you have ever been convicted of a crime. Even worse, if you worked at a job that required you to drive, and then get convicted for DUI, your current job might be put in jeopardy. While a restricted license might ease the pain, it might not be enough to save your job.
Seattle DUI-Defense Attorney Steve Karimi
DUI situations do not end with a plea or a trial. Unfortunately, the collateral consequences can last far longer. Don't feel like you must plead guilty if you have been arrested for driving under the influence. Having a DUI-defense attorney like Steve Karimi on your side throughout the process – before, during, and after the trial – can make a huge impact on the outcome. Contact me at 206-621-8777 today!