It’s natural to feel apprehension after an arrest on a DWI or DUI charge and a potential conviction looming. While you may face obvious penalties, such as possible jail time and a period of probation, a conviction can also leave you with numerous and perhaps unexpected consequences.
DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION
A DWI or DUI conviction will trigger suspension of your driver’s license, varying in length depending upon prior convictions. The court may also require you to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle for at least six months. A commercial driver’s license suspension will last one year as a first offender; a second offender could face a lifetime revocation. The consequences for driving on a suspended license include new criminal charges, impounding of your car, and required jail time if convicted.
A DWI or DUI on your record requires you to disclose your criminal conviction on any job application. If you are currently employed, most companies require disclosure of your conviction to their human resources department. You may risk job demotion, termination, or some sort of rehabilitative measures.
You may also lose your professional license or security clearance. Agencies with licenses based on trust, good character, and moral judgment are more likely to suspend or revoke your license or security clearance. (These often include physicians, nurses, teachers, insurance agents, military personnel, and defense contractors.) Every professional board has its own procedures for criminal convictions, ranging from probationary periods to complete revocation.
Health insurance providers may increase your insurance premium, and in some cases, might deny you low-cost coverage. Life insurance companies often deny policies to those convicted of DWIs or DUIs or raise their rates. Car insurance companies may increase your rates after the suspension of your driver’s license and reinstatement after the gap in coverage. If your injuries stem from your illegal act—driving under the influence—you may find your worker’s compensation claim denied. In addition, liability insurance carriers do not cover punitive damages, so if you injured someone you must pay these out of pocket.
In addition to the possible payment of punitive damages, you may experience other financial repercussions. Often alcohol and drug treatment are required, which could cost you thousands of dollars. You might need a higher credit score to qualify for a loan, and interest rates for loans could increase as well. Probation fees, court-ordered restitution, and fines are all common penalties for DUI convictions.
In some cases, DWI or DUI convictions may hurt the immigration status of those who are not United States citizens. Multiple DWI or DUI convictions, driving on a suspended license, or hit and run accidents could affect the outcome of a deportation hearing.
In a pending or finalized divorce, your ex-spouse may use your criminal conviction against you in regards to the custody of your child. A court may change your full or shared status, visitation rights, or ability to transport your child.
AVOID COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES. CALL AN EXPERIENCED MARYLAND DWI OR DUI ATTORNEY TODAY
A DWI or DUI conviction is more than an inconvenience and a mark on your record. Short and long-term personal, financial, and professional setbacks will emerge. A skilled Maryland criminal defense attorney can help you understand the full range of collateral consequences that may apply to you, and tell you how to fight against them. Contact Alpert Schreyer, LLC, to speak with an attorney and schedule a free case evaluation today. Call us at (301) 321-7277.