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Legal Fees vs. Real Life Costs of a Florida DUI Charge

Posted by Fred Koberlein, Jr. | May 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

DUI costs
DUI Laws, Fines, & Fees

In addition to the potential for jail time and other consequences of a DUI conviction, you must consider the financial cost of a DUI charge. You may be required to pay a large fine, higher insurance rates, court costs, probation costs, costs of DUI school, interlock device fees, and other costs associated with a drunk driving charge. When deciding whether to hire an attorney, it helps to understand what a DUI will cost with and without an attorney by your side.

What Will I Pay for A DUI Conviction?

The fees and costs you pay for a DUI conviction begin with your fines, court fees, and other costs payable to court agencies, schools, or companies providing services required by the judge as part of your sentence. 

Depending on your charges, you can pay between $500 and $4,000 for fines alone.  You must add to that amount the increase in your insurance rates, which could be up to 50 percent more, and then court costs, fees, and other costs related to your sentence. After taking into consideration the factors in your case, your total real life costs for a DUI conviction could be anywhere between a $4,000 and $12,000. Remember, insurance premiums will remain at an increased rate for several years after your DUI conviction.

Now consider the cost of legal fees for hiring a highly skilled and experienced Florida DUI defense attorney. You can hire an experienced drunk driving attorney for around $2,500. By hiring legal counsel, you increase your chance of minimizing the fines and other costs associated with a DUI conviction. You also have the chance to have your case dismissed, or the charges decreased based on the evidence your attorney identifies during his independent DUI arrest investigation.

Let's compare the potential legal feels versus real time costs of a DUI conviction. An attorney may charge you $2,500 plus costs (maybe another $500 at most) versus $4,000 to $12,000 or more in real life costs. The real-life cost could increase even more if you are charged with multiple DUI offenses or felony DUI charges and you miss work due to a DUI conviction.

Fines and Fees for Florida DUI Convictions

The "fees" (not fines) for a DUI conviction remain relatively the same regardless of the charge. An example of the fees you pay if you are convicted of a driving under the influence charge in Florida include:

  • $500 Court Costs
  • $300 DUI School
  • $200 Alcohol Evaluation, Treatment, and Counseling
  • $500 Community Service
  • $550 to $1,900 Ignition Interlock Device
  • $100 to $400 Vehicle Impoundment
  • $350 Work Purposes Driver's License

However, the fine for a DUI conviction depends on the charge.

Fines based on the DUI offense with a BAC less than 0.15:

  • DUI First Conviction $500 to $1,000
  • DUI Second Conviction $1,000 to $2,000
  • DUI Third Conviction $2,000 to $5,000
  • Fourth and Subsequent DUI Convictions $2,000 and up.  

Fines based on the DUI offense with a BAC greater than 0.15:

  • DUI First Conviction $1,000 to $2,000
  • DUI Second Conviction $2,000 to $4,000
  • DUI Third Conviction $4,000 to $5,000
  • Fourth and Subsequent DUI Convictions $2,000 and up. 

In addition to DUI charges, there are other alcohol-impaired charges that carry fines. Examples include:

  • DUI Misdemeanor (accident involving property damage or personal injury) — up to $1,000 or 1 year in prison
  • DUI Felony (repeat offenders and accidents resulting in serious bodily injury) — $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison
  • DUI/Manslaughter — up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison
  • DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene — up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison
  • Vehicular Homicide — up to $10,000 and 15 years in prison
  • Vehicular Homicide/Leaving the Scene — up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison

Call an Experienced Lake City DUI Defense Attorney

The consequences of a DUI conviction can be extremely severe in terms of fines, fees, costs, and prison or jail time. You should not risk representing yourself. The cost of hiring an experienced, highly-skilled, trained DUI defense attorney is far less compared to the potential cost you face by representing yourself.

Our DUI defense attorneys represent clients throughout the Lake City, Live Oak, and Gainesville areas. Contact the Koberlein Law Offices by calling our Lake City office at 386-269-9802 or our Gainesville office at 352-519-4357 to schedule a free consultation. You may also contact our office by using the contact form on our website.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein, Jr.

Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law.  After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender's Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire.  Mr.  Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr.  Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006.  Mr. Koberlein's experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City's interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests.  Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area.  As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr.  Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available.  Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved.  If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr.  Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case.  Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments.  Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.

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