Getting charged with a DUI can get expensive, even if you’re not convicted, but where are those costs coming from? The fees associated with a DUI charge can be broken down into four primary categories: court fees, legal fees, RMV fees, and miscellaneous fees. Let’s look at them one at a time in this comprehensive breakdown of every cost associated with a DUI charge in Massachusetts.
The court fees associated with a first DUI charge are, quite simply, the fees imposed by the court. These include the fine you’ll pay if convicted or placed on a Continuance Without a Finding.. For first time offenders in Massachusetts, the fine can range from $500 to $5,000. It will be up to the discretion of your judge to decide based on the details of your case how much exactly you owe, but the amount will be no less than $500 and no more than $5,000.
If you’re convicted or placed on a Continuance Without a Finding, you’ll also face a variety of other court-imposed fees. These may include (but are not limited to):
- $250 for a probation 24D program
- Approximately $600 for enrollment in a Driver Alcohol Education program
- $50 Victims of Drunk Driving fee
There are several costs associated with a DUI that are imposed by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. These will start to rack up immediately after arrest. After arrest, your car will be towed, which can cost up to $108 in Massachusetts. It will then be stored on an impound lot for up to $35 per day.
You’ll also have to pay to reinstate your license. All DUI charges result in a license suspension effective immediately after arrest. Once your suspension period has ended, you’ll have to pay between $500 and $1,000 to have the RMV reinstate your license.
The final category of fees you can face when charged with a DUI is highly varied and covers a wide range of items. If you’re convicted of a DUI, your car insurance rates will increase. According to Forbes, the average auto insurance rate increase in the US for drivers with a DUI is a hefty 74%.
If you have to miss work for court appearances due to a DUI charge, that can result in lost wages. If you have children, you may have to pay additional childcare costs while you’re meeting with your lawyer or attending court. You also may need to pay a $250 head injury assessment fee if you’re assessed for a head injury at the time of arrest. This list of miscellaneous fees is not exhaustive, as a number of other costs could arise based on your personal circumstances.
The Cost of Legal Help
Legal fees are what you pay your lawyer to represent you. The cost of legal fees varies depending on a variety of factors. The fee will depend on the circumstances of your case, how many court appearances you make, and your attorney’s pricing structure.
Remember, some attorneys charge flat fees while others operate on a hourly basis. If your lawyer charges you a flat fee, that means the amount you pay will be the full sum you owe them for their services. If they charge a retainer, that means you give them a sum of money, and any work they do for you is deducted from that sum.
While an attorney can be expensive, being convicted of a DUI is ultimately more costly. Don’t wait to seek qualified representation. Attorney Joseph Higgins has achieved recognition as one of the top DUI defense lawyers in Massachusetts. Schedule your free consultation with him today.