Collateral Consequences – a DUI/DWI Arrest May Cost You More Than You Think
Have you had a family member, friend, co-worker or, even worse, an attorney, tell you a DUI or DWI arrest is not a serious charge in MD and you may be able to save money by “hiring the least expensive lawyer you can find” or “just handling it yourself”? Have you been told that “the worst that can happen is you will have to go Court and pay a fine”?
Before you heed their advice, please know that, in addition to potential loss of your license, serving jail time, and probation, there are also many “hidden” costs associated with a DUI arrest and conviction in the State of Maryland.
For example: Did you know there are many employers that will simply not hire you if they find out you have had a DUI conviction? It is a common practice for companies to run background checks and drivers’ license histories on prospective employees. A DUI conviction on your record can and, in many instances will, prevent you from being hired.
Even if you are currently employed, a DUI conviction can cause you to lose your job, especially if you hold a security clearance. In fact, upon a pending DUI/DWI being reported to some employers, you will be either terminated or suspended from any company activities involving driving. Make sure to check your employee handbook to see what it says.
Potential “hidden” costs of a DUI conviction:
- You may be permanently stripped of your security clearance
- Your credit rating may be downgraded
- You could lose your right to own a gun.
- You may be prevented from entering foreign countries including Canada.
- You could lose your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for life.
- The cost of your health insurance may increase.
- You could lose your auto insurance or the cost of your insurance could increase by thousands of dollars for years to come.
- It may be difficult to obtain life insurance.
- You may be unable to drive a company vehicle.
- You could lose your right to vote.
- You may be evicted from rental properties and/or may have difficulty finding someone willing to rent to you.
- You could lose your Pilot’s license.
- You or your vehicle could be electronically monitored.
- You may have difficulty opening a bank account.
- You may be unable to rent a car.
- You may be prohibited from entering a Federal Building.
- You may not be allowed to board an airplane.
- You may be completely barred from obtaining certain jobs.
- If you are in the military, you could lose rank or be subjected to general or dishonorable discharge.
- If you have a green card your application for citizenship may be delayed. If you have multiple DUI convictions, you can be denied citizenship.
The collateral consequences of a DWI arrest in Maryland can cost you thousands of dollars over time. It is important to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable DUI attorney to discuss your case and explain how these hidden fees may affect you.