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Making Sense of SR22 in California

Posted by Terry A. Wapner | Mar 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

Alright, so you may have just been convicted of DUI in Fresno or maybe you just got arrested for DUI and are now worried about how it may impact your California driver's license and auto insurance premium. Well, in addition to expensive fines, detailed alcohol education classes, and maybe even some jail time, your license and auto insurance will most definitely be affected after a DUI.

When a driver is stopped, arrested and convicted of DUI in California, the DMV and his auto insurance is notified. In order to maintain coverage, the driver will expected to pay a higher rate for a given amount of time. The amount of time will depend on the severity of the charge and whether the driver has been convicted of DUI on previous occasions.

When you are convicted of DUI in Fresno, or anywhere else in the state of California, you will be expected to have a document known as SR22. Ok, so what is the form exactly? In basic terms, an SR22 document is used to help the state verify that a “high risk” driver has the proper insurance. The form is prepared by the driver's insurance company and is then filed with the DMV in California.

In almost all cases, a driver's license is suspended after getting a DUI. This means that the SR22 form is required after the driver requests his license to be reinstated. A DUI is not the only way to lose a license, you can also face suspension for offenses such as reckless driving and driving without insurance.

Further, take a moment to review the various costs associated with SR22. The premium you will pay will depend on the following factors:

  • Driving record
  • Type of vehicle
  • Credit Score
  • Miles driven
  • Occupation
  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender/Marital status

Once you understand that you need to file an SR22 form, you must contact a DMV-certified auto insurance agent to request the SR22 filing. Although your insurance rates will increase, a good agent may be able to keep your insurance within 10% or where it was before your legal troubles arose. After a processing fee has been paid, your SR22 document will be sent to the DMV. You will be expected to maintain this additional coverage for a minimum of 3 years.

In California, SR22 coverage generally includes the following:

  • Liability
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical
  • Uninsured motorist
  • Towing
  • Rental care coverage
  • Non-factory equipment
  • Loan/lease gap protection
  • Replacement cost coverage

As noted above, SR22 is just one element you must consider when dealing with Fresno DUI charges. Not very many situations are cut-and-dry offenses. If you have been arrested for DUI or other alcohol-related charges, keep in mind that there may be many options available to you and you don't need to just plead guilty because you think you have no choice. Consult with a local attorney in your area who understands the laws and can give you proper advice regarding the facts of your specific case. These kinds of charges are too serious to go it alone.

About the Author

Terry A. Wapner

Terry A. Wapner confines his practice to the defense of persons accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and related crimes.

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