Consequences from your DUI conviction do not end after you leave the courtroom. As much as you may not want to do this, you will have to notify your auto insurance company of your DUI conviction because the state of Virginia requires you to obtain a Financial Responsibility Certification if you want to reinstate your driver’s license. Finding insurance after a DUI can be just as intimidating as dealing with the police or prosecutor in your DUI case. The Wilson Law Firm understands your dilemma and we can help you with your remaining legal issues and getting your license reinstated by Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Our law office specializes in defending individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony drunk and drugged driving offenses and other traffic violations, so we are capable and competent to handle all aspects of a DUI case.
Expect Higher Auto Insurance Rates or Termination of Your Policy
There are different types of Financial Responsibility Insurance Certification forms, such as the SR-22, FR-44 and FR-46. The type of certification you are required to have will depend on the charge for which you were convicted. For instance, Virginia requires an FR-44 certification to be submitted for three years if you have been convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs. These forms are provided by insurance companies and certify that a driver meets the minimum car insurance requirements set by the state of Virginia. The insurance company, and not the driver, submits the form to the DMV. These forms are proof that you have an auto insurance policy, but they are not considered your insurance policy. If you want your license reinstated after a DUI, you must not only submit the Financial Responsibility Insurance Certification, you must also pay a $500 statutory fee and a license reinstatement fee to the DMV.
Virginia requires all drivers to purchase liability car insurance. This type of insurance helps to pay the costs for property damage, serious injuries or death of other drivers or passengers caused by the insured driver. Virginia’s minimum liability insurance coverage limits are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury/death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury/death of two or more people
- $20,000 for property damage
The coverage limits for SR-22 drivers are the same as for drivers who do not need special insurance. However, liability insurance coverage limits for FR-44 are double that for SR-22 coverage limits:
- $50,000 for bodily injury/death of one person
- $100,000 for bodily injury/death of two or more people
- $40,000 for property damage
While Virginia may set the coverage limits, your auto insurer sets the rates for auto insurance coverage. Once your insurance company discovers your DUI conviction, the company will either terminate your policy or raise your rates. Auto insurance companies periodically run checks on driving records of their customers, so it’s more than likely that the company will spot a DUI conviction posted by the DMV on a driving record. According to Insurance.com, based on an analysis of car insurance quotes, premium rates for auto insurance after a DUI may increase 30 percent to 100 percent or more. Since Virginia requires the Financial Responsibility Insurance Certification for three years, chances are you will not see your auto insurance rates decreasing until after the fourth year.
Fight to Avoid a DUI Conviction
The Wilson Law Firm can help you take action to avoid a DUI conviction. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, it is possible for your attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution to charge you with a lesser offense. In this way, you will not have a DUI conviction on your record. In addition to conducting negotiations, your attorney will represent you during the entire legal process to ensure that your rights are not violated by law enforcement or the prosecution.
If you are facing a DUI charge or have already been convicted of DWI in Virginia and need legal advice, contact The Wilson Law Firm today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.