A Law Firm in Vermont Helps Clients Limit the Monetary Consequences of a First-Time DUI Offense

People have many reasons for hiring an attorney from a law firm in Vermont after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. One is the potential monetary cost of a conviction as compared with fees to pay an attorney. Fines related to this criminal offense can be steep, and automotive insurance rates spike afterward, staying high for several years.

Fines

In Vermont, a judge can levy a first-time DUI offender with a fine of up to $750. People living paycheck to paycheck may not have that kind of money sitting in a savings account. An attorney with a law firm in Vermont can persuade a judge to keep the fine to the mandatory minimum.

Jail

Vermont does not have a mandatory minimum jail sentence for first-time offenders. However, although it rarely happens, judges can sentence first-time offenders to several months in jail. In addition to the distress of having to serve time, people generally lose jobs when this occurs. They risk losing their apartment or house as well as a financed vehicle. Credit cards go to collections as months go by without a payment.

Insurance and the SR22 Certificate

The state requires drivers convicted of DUI to have a SR22 certificate verifying they have automotive insurance. There are filing fees for the certificate in addition to paying more for this high-risk insurance policy. Not all insurance companies offer these policies, and consumers must be careful to do their research and not end up paying astronomical prices.

Concluding Thoughts

Vermont is not one of the harshest states when it comes to DUI penalties. That’s scant comfort to someone who has been arrested for this offense. Going out drinking can be a fun time, but getting behind the wheel afterward is a bad idea. The enjoyment of the evening swiftly turns to regret when the person is stopped by police and arrested for DUI. Now, this person must do what is required to minimize the consequences and to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Hiring a lawyer such as a Jason J. Sawyer, Attorney & Counselor at Law is one of the first steps.

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