Were you recently arrested for DUI in South Carolina? If so, you probably know that a conviction could mean fines, a suspended driver's license, and imprisonment, but what about the hidden consequences of a DUI? Do you know about those?
A DUI conviction has far-reaching consequences, and they don't stop at the fines and license suspension. In fact, a DUI can affect several aspects of your life, such as:
1. Educational Opportunities
If you are planning on attending a college or university, a DUI could be a problem. Most schools require that applicants disclose all arrests and convictions, whereas some only require that you inform them of felonies.
Some schools will not admit an applicant with a DUI, whereas others will revoke an admission if they find out that an applicant failed to disclose a DUI arrest or conviction. A DUI can also bar an applicant from receiving financial aid or a scholarship.
2. Your Career
For starters, you could lose your job if you have to go to jail for a DUI; it may not be there when you get back. Also, many employers simply do not want to hire anyone with a criminal record. A DUI on your record may cause the manager to look at your application and say, "No thanks."
Additionally, some licensing boards will refuse to issue or renew a professional license if the applicant is convicted of DUI.
3. Your Credit Score
In South Carolina, a first DUI can set you back by nearly $1,000 with assessments and surcharges, whereas a second DUI will cost between $2,100 and upwards of $10,000. If you cannot afford to pay all of the court-ordered fines and penalties, they can be sent to collections and your credit can take a hit.
4. Child Custody
Are you in the middle of a divorce or a child custody battle? While an old DUI may not sway the judge's decision, a recent DUI can tip the scales and not in your favor.
5. Your Auto Insurance
When you are convicted of DUI, your auto insurance premiums will skyrocket for years to come. For most people, this alone is a hard pill to swallow.
If you are facing DUI charges in Columbia, the first thing you want to do is contact an experienced DUI defense attorney from Masella Law Firm, P.A. In a personal case evaluation, we can listen to your side of the story and determine the best strategy to minimize the consequences of your DUI arrest.