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How much does a DUI cost in South Carolina?

Some people think of a drunk driving conviction as something that's a minor event. This isn't the case, especially when you start to add up the financial impact that comes with it. If you're facing a drunk driving charge, you should think carefully about all the possible impacts that you're going to have to deal with because of the legal matter.

While each case is unique, there are some general guidelines about what you can expect to pay out of pocket for a drunk driving case. Typically, the overall estimate is that this type of case will cost you at least $10,000 in South Carolina for a first offense.

What costs come with a drunk driving conviction?

You may have to pay a bail bondsman to get you out of jail if you're charged with drunk driving. This will average around $1,000. You'll also have to retain an attorney, which can cost an average of $3,300, possibly much more. The average amount of a fine for a first drunk driving charge is $1,000 and court fees are approximately $1,500. Your vehicle may be towed and impounded, which may cost around $150 or more.

The cost of education and safety courses is roughly $1,200 in this state. You'll pay around $100 or more to get your driver's license back. You'll also need to obtain SR-22 insurance for three years. This is more expensive than most policies, so you'll pay an average of $150 per month for coverage.

What other financial impacts might apply?

You already know that you'll have several out-of-pocket expenses. Unfortunately, these might come at a time when your income is reduced or eliminated. You may lose your job if you have one that requires you to have a clean driving record. Some employers won't be able to keep you on staff because of the nature of the charge. Be sure that you factor this cost into the cost of your case.

Another unexpected cost is having to find transportation. You may lose your driver's license when you have a drunk driving case. This means you'll have to rely on family members or friends. Sometimes, public transportation, ridesharing and similar methods will be necessary.

If you're facing a drunk driving charge now, you should get started on your defense strategy right away. There might be options on the table that only apply if you act quickly. Your attorney can help you to find out what options you have so you can make decisions that you feel are in your best interests. There might be ways that you can reduce the overall cost of your drunk driving case, so be sure to evaluate these before you make any decisions.

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