Charges of driving under the influence are serious enough. If they lead to convictions, things may never be the same. That’s one of the reasons why hiring an impaired driving lawyer as quickly as possible is so important. Without legal counsel who can work to have the charges dropped or get the court to find you not guilty, a lot of change will happen. Here are some of the ways things will be different if that charge becomes a conviction.
You May Have to Live as a Pedestrian For Some Time
Depending on the particulars of your case, part of the sentencing may involve taking and passing court-ordered classes. Upon successful completion, you may be able to have your driving privileges restored. In this scenario, your time as a pedestrian is relatively short.
Not everyone is so fortunate. You could end up with a permanent suspension. That means for the rest of your life, you will rely on a combination of public transport, ride shares, and the generosity of loved ones to get you where you want to go. While people gradually adjust to this type of thing, you will never again know the joy of grabbing the car keys and taking off on a whim.
Insurance Companies Now Consider You a High Risk
If you do get your license back, that means securing auto insurance. Your previous provider may be happy to have you back, but only for a price. As a high-risk driver, expect to pay higher premiums. You may also find that the provider refuses to extend coverage at all.
There are other providers who are likely to approve your application. They also will charge higher premiums now and for many years to come. Do look around for the best deal, but accept the fact that auto insurance will be a larger expense for a long time.
Be Happy With Your Job Since It May Be The Best One You’ll Ever Have
You may not have to worry about losing your current job, but be sure that you’re happy with it. Some promotions may be off the table now, given your record. There’s a good chance that you will never advance any further within the company.
Don’t assume that looking for a job elsewhere will make things any better. There’s a good chance that prospective employers will conduct background checks that reveal the arrest and conviction. Depending on the job requirements, that may be all it takes to disqualify your application.
Be Prepared for Some Credit Rejections
Prospective employers aren’t the only ones who are likely to conduct background checks. The same will be true when you apply for a car loan or a mortgage. Lenders want to know that you’re the responsible type and a DUI conviction doesn’t exactly scream responsible. While you may be approved by some, expect to be offered terms that include higher interest rates.
The same is true when you apply for credit cards. The conviction may not bar you from being offered accounts, but it will likely mean you only qualify for something with higher annual fees as well as higher interest rates. Things will be that way for a long time.
Your focus right now should be on hiring a lawyer who can work to get the DUI charges settled and allow you to avoid all these complications. Listen closely to what your lawyer has to say and cooperate in every way possible. In the best-case scenario, you can get the charges dismissed and move of with your life.