Are you looking for DUI attorneys? California residents who have been charged with driving under the influence should seek out an attorney if they hope to avoid punishment to the fullest extent of the law. Don’t let your possible legal ramifications affect your insurance after DUI. Bay Area residents, come to Summit Defense for consultation and representation from experienced lawyers.
When an individual’s driver’s license has been suspended or revoked due to a DUI arrest or conviction, that person must apply for reinstatement of their driving privileges with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In order to have one’s driver’s license reinstated, however, the person must first pay a $125 reinstatement fee, and then submit proof of enrollment in a state-authorized DUI program. Importantly, the person must be able to prove that they can also be financially responsible in the case of accident or injury while operating their motor vehicle.
Most individuals fulfill this requirement by purchasing what is known as SR22, or ‘Safety Responsibility’, insurance from an insurance company, which is a type of vehicle liability insurance that ensures that the driver has the minimum coverage for the state of California. SR22 insurance is often referred to as “15/30/5” insurance because the coverage is limited to 1) $15,000 for the injury or death of one individual person; 2) $30,000 total for any multiple death or injury scenario; and 3) $5,000 for the damage of property.
After purchase, the SR22 is filed with the individual’s local DMV and assists in the reinstatement of driving privileges. One must also obtain a California Insurance Proof Certificate (or SR22 certificate) from a company that is authorized to provide such in California. In the state of California, if an SR22 policy should lapse or expire, then the insurance company must inform the DMV by issuing an SR26 form, alerting the DMV to a gap in coverage. In this case, the DMV will suspend driving privileges again, necessitating an additional SR22 purchase. In addition, if an individual who has been convicted of a DUI does not own the vehicle that the SR22 insurance policy is connected to, then they must obtain proof of a special type of non-owner SR22 insurance. By enlisting the service of specialized DUI attorneys, California residents are sometimes able to expedite this process and regain their driving privileges.
Alternatively, if a person convicted of a DUI offense does not wish to obtain SR22 insurance at all, he or she may choose to pay a $35,000 fine by cash or bond. This, also, would satisfy the requirement of ‘financial responsibility.’ In the state of California, SR22 insurance is required for anyone who has been convicted of a DUI, whether it is a first offense or a subsequent offense. You can learn more about insurance requirements by speaking with DUI attorneys. California residents have come to Summit Defense for consultation when concerned about insurance after their DUI charge.
Availability of Insurance
After a DUI conviction, it is oftentimes difficult to obtain car insurance. Although a significant rate increase may be problematic, it is also possible that the insurance company will refuse to renew the policy at all or cancel it outright. Additionally, according to California law, an individual’s insurance company cannot cancel a policy or raise premiums for a policy immediately after a DUI conviction. In other words, insurance companies cannot cancel a policy or raise the rates for a policy midterm. Many insurance companies will, however, refuse to create a new policy for someone who has been convicted of a DUI in the state of California. This is a cause of concern, considering that even though an insurance company cannot cancel a policy or raise rates midterm, they may choose to do so when the individual policy is up for renewal.
Increased Rates and Likely Duration of Increased Rates
Due to the fact that there are no laws in the state of California that regulate insurance premium prices, an individual company may charge anywhere from two to three times more than the amount at which the previous premium was set. Although there seems to be very little statistical logic behind this increase, it is nonetheless legal, and common, for this kind of price gouging to occur. Insurance companies rationalize this, quoting DUI fatality statistics and arguing that a driver with a DUI conviction is now considered to be ‘high risk.’ Increased rates could last for as many as ten years if the policy is not cancelled or refused for renewal, making a person ineligible for ‘good driver’ discounts for this period. If a person was not eligible for a ‘good driver’ discount before the conviction, then they may see little difference in their premiums afterward. However, a rate increase of anywhere from 20-30% may occur if an individual was eligible for the ‘good driver’ discount before the DUI conviction. During the average three-year period of SR22 insurance requirement, a convicted individual may pay from $300-800 more for their insurance after DUI. San Jose area motorists should take note of the wide-reaching effects of a DUI. If you’re confronted with charges, contact an attorney as soon as possible.