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DUI fines, fees and assessments can cost you thousands

Fines for driving under the influence are extremely high in South Carolina, which is meant to be a deterrent. Unfortunately, some people are falsely accused and may even end up being convicted despite not driving while intoxicated.

The fines range from $400 up to $6,300, but those aren't all that add up. There are also assessments and surcharges.

What kind of financial impact will a DUI have on you?

DUIs have a number of different financial implications. Some direct costs associated with a DUI include:

  • Fines up to $400 for a first offense. Additional assessments and surcharges raise the cost to $992.
  • Fines between $2,100 and $5,100 for a second offense, which adds up to around $10,744.50 after all assessments and surcharges are added in.
  • Fines up to $6,300, which add up to $13,234.50 after all additional surcharges and assessments for a third offense.

These fees and fines don't consider the impact that you'll see on your insurance fees. They may not consider towing fees or other charges, either.

In your personal life, a DUI can impact your finances in a few ways. To start with, you need to think about your job. Do you have a license to perform your work? It's possible that you could lose it if your industry frowns upon DUIs.

Even if you don't need a license for your industry, you could lose your job if your contract says that you'll be fired for DUIs or other trouble with the law. In that case, you could lose all of your financial support in one moment.

If you attend a college or university, a DUI conviction could lead to you losing your financial aid or other support. You may be unable to go to school if you are suspended or expelled for the conviction.

What is your best option for fighting a DUI?

With most cases, a good option is to talk to your attorney about defending yourself. The goal should be to have the DUI charges dropped or reduced to a different crime. For example, you might be able to have a DUI reduced to reckless driving or speeding if the test results aren't accurate enough to lead to a conviction.

There are many ways to defend yourself, but everything depends on how your charges came about and the specific factors in your case. Your attorney will work closely with you to try to fight the charges and prevent a conviction.

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