In addition to criminal penalties and fines, those convicted of driving under the influence in Washington, DC often see their insurance prices go up as well. Below, a DC DUI lawyer discusses how you should interact with your insurance company after a DUI charge and how an experienced attorney can help you mitigate the potential penalties.
An individual who is convicted of a DUI charge can expect to have their insurance rates go up. One of the requirements in the District of Columbia is an individual who has been convicted of a DUI must obtain high-risk insurance. This is a separate type of insurance called SR-22. They need to maintain that for a couple of years in addition to their normal insurance.
Thus, an individual convicted of a DUI can expect to have high-risk insurance and an increase in their regular premium. Also, depending upon their prior driving record apart from the DUI case, they could be dropped by their insurance company and so they need to be mindful that they may have some insurance issues going forward.
If at all possible, a person should not speak with an insurance provider prior to speaking with an attorney. An individual involved in an accident and charged with a DUI should contact an attorney immediately. The insurance company is going to want to get a statement as to what happened so it is critical that the individual gets some legal advice to avoid making statements either in writing or on audio to an insurance company representative. It could then potentially be used against them in a criminal case. If at all possible, you should delay until you have a chance to speak with a DUI attorney.
When informing your insurance company of an event, oftentimes the insurance company will immediately ask you to provide a written and/or audio statement of what happened. If there is a pending criminal case against you like a DUI charge, then it may be a bad idea to give a statement admitting to any of the elements of a DUI charge because it is possible that the prosecution could obtain a copy of that statement.
A criminal lawyer can provide a person with guidelines regarding what they should or should not say to the insurance company. Often in these cases, an attorney will be on the phone, and interject when necessary. A lawyer will speak to the insurance company and let them know that there is a pending charge; therefore, they have advised their client against making a detailed statement about what happened at this time.
Everyone should be aware that insurance companies have the ability to get the police report directly from the police and almost always will do so. The insurance company will have the ability to get the pertinent details anyway, so they will not necessarily need to have a statement from their insured to have a general understanding of what is going on.
This particularly comes up if there is an accident involved in a DUI case. That is how the insurance company typically will become notified because there will be a claim made by the other party. But if there is no accident and no reason for the insurance company to become aware of it, then we advise clients to come talk and let us take a look at the situation. Then, we will see what action, if any, we should take with regards to the insurance company.
If you have any questions regarding the status of your car insurance after a DUI in dc please do not hesitate to contact our office.
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