Can a DUI Affect Your Credit?

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Impaired driving convictions do not automatically show up on a credit report, though background checks are a part of the data collection process. The information is not a part of the final summary, but can impact the overall score when the rating is calculated. If a fine has been sent to a collection agency, then that status can affect a credit rating. The truth is, if a fine is outstanding and the court has sent it to a collection agency, the defendant is lucky. The court will usually arrest the defendant for failure to pay, failure to appear, or both. There are, however, some instances where a DUI can affect a credit report indirectly.
Impact on Employment
Almost all employers require authorization for a background check and also request the individual to provide the information themselves. If an applicant does not report a conviction on an employment application, the application can be declined for the omission because of honesty risk. Applicants using a license as part of their employment, such as a commercial driver, can easily have their employment affected.

Impact on Criminal History
It is important to understand that a conviction for driving under the influence will show up on your criminal history. The driving record and criminal record are not the same report, but the information is present on both records. Multiple offenses can be especially problematic. Whether it’s a California or NJ dui lawyer, most lawyers can attest to the fact that impaired driving charges are misdemeanors until the third of fourth offense, depending on the state. The evidence of arrest is then sent to the grand jury for determination of a felony indictment. Additionally, accidents that seriously injure another person can also become felony charges, regardless of prior convictions. The blood alcohol content level of the driver can impair the aggravation status of the charge and result in much harsher punishment, as well as additional charges such as wanton endangerment. Adjudication for driving under the influence includes fines, service fees, and paying all costs associated with any court ordered Driver Alcohol Education Programs and probation fees.

Insurance Rates
Insurance rates are normally only affected by the defendant's driving record. Convicted drivers are routinely placed in a high-risk insurance pool and insurance premiums are assessed at a maximum. This can affect the cost of uninsured and under-insured driver's coverage, as well as increased premium rates on comprehensive full coverage insurance policies. The accumulative costs can add up quickly and are significant over the period of time necessary for a driving record to clear. This can impact the ability to secure credit just by virtue of extracting finances that could be used for other financial obligations.

There is a process for expungement of impaired driving charges, but there are strict rules and benchmarks that must be applied. Subsequent arrests will eliminate eligibility for expungement in most states, and the record may not be removed. Expungement only seals the record from the public but it is still accessible by the state court system for later use, if needed. The overall impact an intoxicated driving charge can have on an individual's credit report is the hardships of layered punishment that the courts have implemented.

 Ieda Vincent has experience with credit consumer counseling services and knows the importance of maintaining your credit. Levow & Associates represent those that require a NJ dui lawyer with extensive defense strategies. They are dedicated and determined to obtain the best results. Their law firm is present throughout the entire state serving individuals in all 21 New Jersey counties.

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