FR-44 DUI Insurance
There are many potential consequences to a DUI conviction in St. Petersburg: jail time, fines, interlock ignition devices, license suspension, mandatory substance abuse treatment programs. However, there are also hidden costs that are often not considered that are the result of a conviction for driving under the influence. One of these is the many complications surrounding insurance. You are required to carry auto liability insurance in Florida. However, maintaining liability insurance after a DUI requires you to obtain an FR-44 form. The FR-44 requirement can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket, and causes some to be unable to continue to afford insurance after a DUI conviction.
St. Petersburg FR-44 Insurance for DUI Convictions
The only way to avoid expensive FR-44 insurance after a DUI conviction is to avoid the conviction entirely. The best way to avoid such a conviction is to have an experienced St. Petersburg DUI defense lawyer on your side, like Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Melinda Morris is a former State Attorney on the DUI Manslaughter/Vehicular Homicide Squad. She understands DUI defense and will put her knowledge to work for you. Call today at 727-388-4736 for a free consultation on your DUI charge.
Melinda Morris represents those accused of DUI in St. Petersburg and throughout Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Dunedin, Pinellas Park, Palm Harbor, Gulf City and other nearby areas.
FR-44 Requirements in Florida
After being convicted of a DUI, whether for alcohol or drugs, you driver’s license will be suspended for an amount of time. After that time has passed, you will need to go to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to get your license reinstated. To reinstate your license, the DHSMV will require you to present an FR-44 form.
To get an FR-44 form, you must request one from your insurance company. When you request an FR-44 form, your insurance company will immediately know you’ve had a DUI conviction. They will flag you as “high risk,” and have the option of canceling your policy. If they cancel your policy, you’ll have to shop for a new policy with a negative record and a recently canceled policy, which is likely to make premiums much higher.
However, even if you are able to stay with your current provider, it’s likely your rates will go up. For starters, being a “high risk” policyholder is likely to cause the insurance company to raise your premiums. Additionally, you are required, to obtain an FR-44, to have liability insurance coverage in the amount of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence and $50,000 for property damage. If that’s an increase in coverage for you, it’s likely to also mean an increase in premiums. Most people in Florida see their premiums double, and sometimes even triple, after a DUI conviction.
The FR-44 form also requires your insurance company to notify the DHSMV if your insurance lapses, at which point the DHSMV will suspend your license. Many people have a hard time making the dramatically increased payments, leading to their insurance lapsing, which means their license is also suspended.
Avoiding Insurance Consequences in Pinellas County
The FR-44 requirement is an automatic consequence of a DUI conviction in Florida. So, the only way to avoid the consequences is to avoid the conviction, which you may be able to do. The best step you can make toward avoiding the conviction is hiring an experience St. Petersburg DUI defense lawyer after you are arrested.
You attorney will carefully and diligently review all the assertions and all the evidence presented by prosecutors. An attorney can even challenge chemical tests, such as breathalyzer and blood test results, for flaws and irregularities. For instance, many breath devices register other chemical compounds in the human breath. Additionally, testing while alcohol is absorbing into the blood stream can also cause defects in testing.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. | Pinellas County DUI Attorney
Avoid the expensive consequences of a DUI conviction by fighting the charges. St. Petersburg DUI lawyer Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm, P.A. can fight for you. today at (727) 388-4736 to set up a free consultation to go over the details of your case.