If you are charged and convicted for driving under influence (DUI) in Florida, you will face the criminal consequences of the offense. Depending on the severity, you might pay a fine, have your driver’s license suspended or even serve time in jail.
However, this is never the end of the story. Besides the criminal penalties associated with the DUI, it is important to understand that a conviction may come with the following collateral consequences:
Higher car insurance premiums
Even if you do not cause an accident, insurance companies will consider you a high-risk client after a DUI conviction. As a result, you will have to pay more to insure your car. And if you are a repeat offender, some insurance companies may terminate your policy altogether.
Difficulty finding work
Nothing can be burdensome like having a criminal record. This is what you get following a DUI conviction. As a result, any time a potential employer runs a background check on you, they will come across this on your record. Many employers refuse to hire individuals with a criminal record – more so if that record has something to do with a drug or alcohol problem.
Difficulty advancing your education
Most universities run background checks on applications during the admission process. Such institutions may turn down applicants with criminal records. The same applies to grants, scholarships and funding opportunities that make higher education affordable. A DUI on your record can cost you the grant or scholarship you badly need to further your studies.
A ruined reputation
The social stigma that comes with a drunk driving conviction can greatly hurt your reputation and relationships. Family, friends and workmates may judge and even shun you after learning about your conviction.
There is more to a DUI conviction than just paying the fines and moving on with your life. If you have been charged with drunk driving in Florida, it is important that you take appropriate steps to defend yourself.