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Automobile Insurance After a 1st DUI Conviction

Most people already know that a DUI conviction comes with serious punishments, especially in Pennsylvania, where there are mandatory minimum fines, long license suspensions, and prison terms even for first-time offenders. But people often forget the longer-term consequences. They want to put this horrible time behind them and start over, but their conviction comes back to haunt them. This is where a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney can help.

One of the ways in which a DUI conviction can affect a person is through their auto insurance. Most people know that their insurance company will penalize them for it, but few know just how bad it can get.

DUI and Insurance Providers

Most people who end up with a DUI conviction know that their rates will rise. What they do not know is just how high the insurance company is allowed to raise those rates. Sometimes, people have to pay thousands of dollars more for car insurance after they are convicted of DUI.

The reason for the huge increase is that rates are figured based on risk assessments. Each insurance company uses a different formula, but they all use the same factors to decide how much of a risk a particular customer is. The following is a list of the factors used:

  • Age of the driver
  • Number of tickets and other driving-related charges the driver has accrued over a certain period of time
  • Type of car
  • Color of car
  • City or state the driver resides in
  • Type of driving-related charges accrued

After examining these things, the insurance company will classify a driver as a high risk or a low risk and set their premiums accordingly.

Each insurance company has a different set of rules and a different time frame for post-DUI insurance changes. Some will drop you entirely at the first offense, though as noted elsewhere in this article, most won’t until the second or subsequent DUI.

High-Risk Driver Classification and DUI Convictions

It should not be a surprise to anyone that a person with a DUI on their criminal record will always be classified as high risk. This means that they have to choose from among three things in regards to car insurance: buy “high-risk” insurance, deal with a massively large rate increase, or leave their insurance company. If you have more than one DUI conviction, you could find yourself dropped by your auto insurance company.

The amount your rates will rise will depend on many factors. In addition to the simple fact that you got a DUI, things like the amount of damage to property you caused, if you did a hit and run, if you injured or killed someone, or if you resisted arrest all will be taken into consideration by the insurance company.

The SR-22 Requirement in Pennsylvania

An SR-22 is a form that a person convicted of DUI must file with Pennsylvania’s Department of Motor Vehicles if they had an insurance policy before they got their DUI. It is a statement that proves you have the required amount of vehicle insurance. Most of the time, a driver who submits an SR-22 will automatically be considered high-risk by their insurance company.

Clearly, a DUI conviction affects a person in more ways than just having a criminal record, going to jail, and paying huge fines. It has far-reaching effects in every area of life. If you have been charged with DUI, it’s vital that you immediately call a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney to represent you. Sean Logue and his associates at Logue Law Group are highly trained and experienced in DUI law, and are dedicated and aggressive enough to find the best way to defend you, getting your charges reduced or dismissed. Call Logue Law at 1-844-PITT-DUI or 412-389-0805, or reach out to them online, here. Initial consultations are free.

The attorneys at Logue Law Group serve the Pittsburgh area, including the surrounding counties, as well as Eastern Ohio and West Virginia.

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