Will a DUI Affect My Credit Score?

By Jonathan Blecher on July 12, 2017

At first glance, a DUI and your credit may seem unrelated, but they can be connected in more ways than one. For instance, the fact that most DUI-related costs can be put on a credit card is one reason why a DUI can cause credit scores to tank.

Essentially, if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for all of the court and insurance-related costs of a DUI, you can be headed for trouble.

DUI costs may include:

  • Between $500 and $4,000 in fines
  • Fees in place of community service ($10 per hour)
  • Vehicle impoundment fees
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) fees
  • DUI school fees
  • Restitution for property damage
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Civil judgements against DUI defendant

If you are convicted of DUI, not only do you face court-ordered fines among a host of other mandatory fees, you’ll face skyrocketing insurance premiums – all of these expenses add up and affect your bottom line.

Your auto insurance rates could double or triple, and if your credit takes a hit because you can’t afford to pay all of your bills and DUI-related costs, your auto insurance can increase even more since insurance companies factor in a driver’s credit rating when setting rates.

How a DUI Can Impact Credit

If you’re convicted of DUI and you can afford to cover all of the costs, fortunately a conviction shouldn’t affect your credit score.
For those who can’t afford a conviction, their credit score can be affected because:

  • Putting thousands of dollars on credit cards to pay all of the DUI-related costs increases a person’s credit utilization ratio – impacting credit scores.
  • Unpaid fines are sent to collections, and reported for seven years.
  • Judgements affect credit scores.

If you can afford to pay all of the DUI-related costs, a conviction still shows up on a criminal background check. Meaning, a DUI conviction can block you from getting that enticing job you want, or it can result in being passed up for a job promotion when another candidate has a spotless record.

To fight your DUI charges, work with a former prosecutor and proven Miami DUI defense lawyer; call Attorney Jonathan Blecher to schedule a free consultation!

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