How Much Does a DUI Cost in California?

by Ambrosio Rodriguez | May 11, 2023 | DUI
How Much Does a DUI Cost in California?

Not only can a DUI cost your freedom if convicted, but it can also cost a lot of money. Even though most DUIs are misdemeanor charges in California, they come with serious financial consequences. Most people are shocked when they learn how expensive it is to get a DUI.

The best way to avoid these expenses is to be found not guilty of a DUI. However, that’s not always possible. If you are ultimately found guilty, your DUI lawyer should explain all the costs you must pay as a penalty.

Fines and Court Fees

Your fines and fees will depend on the type of DUI you are convicted of. If it is a first-time DUI, you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars in fines and court fees. If it is a more serious offense, you may have to pay $5,000 or more.

Most people aren’t aware that you are expected to pay court fees when you are convicted of a crime. This is on top of the fines given by the judge. If you fail to pay your court fines, it will act as an outstanding debt and prevent you from reinstating your license.

Attorney’s Fees

On top of court fines and fees, you will need to pay for the cost of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. Most DUI lawyers charge a set fee depending on the complexity of your case.

Some factors that make a case more complex include:

  • Prior DUI convictions
  • Injured victims
  • Additional charges related to the DUI
  • Likelihood of going to trial
  • Whether or not there are complex legal issues

In general, the attorney fee is usually between $3,500 – $15,000. However, you should discuss the specific fee with your lawyer.

Higher Insurance Premiums

When you are convicted of a DUI, your insurance premiums will skyrocket. The auto insurance companies will now consider you to be a risky driver and they make you pay more to account for that.

On average, California drivers will see a 131% increase in their monthly premium after a DUI. This increase can last for 3-6 years and then will slowly decrease as you prove that you are a responsible driver.

Towing and Impound Fees

Unless someone else is in the car when you get a DUI, your car is usually towed or impounded into a lot. This is common if you get into a car accident or if you hit someone else. Sometimes the car is used as evidence in your criminal case.

You can’t get your car back for free at the end of the case. You will need to pay an impound fee and towing fee. This is usually around $150. However, you also need to pay a daily impound fee that is around $50, depending on the lot. That means at the end of your case, you could be paying $1,000 or more just to get your car back.

Ignition Interlock Device and DUI School

In most cases, after a DUI you will need to install an ignition interlock device in your car to be able to operate it. You will blow into this device to start your car. If you have any alcohol in your system, the vehicle will not start.

You are responsible for paying the installation fee for the device and a monthly fee. You may have the device for months, or even years. The cost of installation is about $100, and the monthly fee is $70 – $100.

Many people who are convicted of a DUI are also required to pay for a DUI education class. The classes vary in length, but you are expected to pay for all of them. You can expect to pay between $300 – $3,000 for the classes.

DMV Reinstatement Fees and State Restitution Fund

Once you are eligible to get your driver’s license back after a DUI, you need to pay a license reinstatement fee to the DMV. This fee is $125. You may also need to pay money into the state restitution fund. This fund financially assists victims of crimes. You can expect to pay about $150 into the fund, but it may be more depending on your case.

Contact the Los Angeles DUI Law Firm of The Rodriguez Law Group Today For Help

For more information please contact the Los Angeles DUI law firm of The Rodriguez Law Group for a free consultation, give us a call at (213) 995-6767 or visit our convenient location:

The Rodriguez Law Group – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
626 Wilshire Blvd Suite 460, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States