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The cost of DUI conviction in Indiana may be higher than you think

Most Indiana drivers are aware that a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol can carry steep consequences from a legal point of view, including jail time, fines and driver's license suspension. However, what many people in Indiana may not realize is that the actual costs of a DUI conviction often extend far beyond the obvious expenses. A recent report by Money Talk News detailed some of the many hidden expenses that can come with a DUI conviction.

Towing, impounding and bail

When a person is arrested for DUI, his or her car will often be towed and impounded at the driver's expense. Depending on the circumstances, this can carry a price tag of $100 to $200 or more. A driver who is arrested for DUI will also typically be required to post bail, which can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. While most of the bail money will be returned to the driver as long as he or she shows up in court, a portion is typically retained in the form of nonrefundable fees.

Fines, fees and court costs

Drivers convicted of DUI typically must pay a fine, ranging anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on a variety of factors. For instance, in Indiana, a first-time DUI conviction can carry a fine of $200 to $500, while a third conviction for DUI within a five-year time period can result in fines of up to $1,000.

Indiana drivers are also required to pay a $250 service fee when convicted of any drunk driving offense. In addition, the driver typically must pay for alternative transportation during the license suspension period, which in some cases may be as long five years. In addition to the other court costs and attorney fees that may apply, these factors can add substantially to the financial costs of a DUI conviction in Indiana.

Treatment costs, insurance and other expenses

Many drivers who are found guilty of DUI offenses are required to enroll in mandatory alcohol or substance abuse treatment at their own expense. In Indiana, drivers can be required to undergo up to 90 days of a substance abuse treatment or education program, while repeat offenders can be required to undergo a full year of treatment.

After a DUI conviction, most drivers must pay significantly more for car insurance -nearly 20 percent more, on average, according to Insurance.com. In addition, many drivers convicted of DUI in Indiana experience additional financial repercussions as a result of job loss and other secondary consequences of DUI conviction, which can affect their financial circumstances for years to come.

Get legal help right away

If you are stopped for suspected DUI in Indiana, you can help protect your chances of a favorable outcome by asking to speak with an attorney right away - before talking to investigators or trying to handle the situation on your own. A skilled DUI defense lawyer will advocate vigorously on behalf of your interests and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire investigation and prosecution. Working with an attorney is one of the best ways to help minimize the negative consequences of a DUI arrest, and in some cases may result in the charges being reduced or dismissed.

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