FAQ 2017-11-07T16:19:01+00:00


How will a DUI affect my insurance?

Many insurance companies check your motor vehicle record only once every three years or when you’re applying for a new policy. Sometimes, accidents, tickets, and drunkdriving convictions can escape your insurer’s attention or don’t end up on your motor vehicle record. However, if your insurer does find out about a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, or an administrative suspension or a diversionary program, you’re likely to feel the pinch of higher rates and possibly policy cancellation or nonrenewal.

There are two ways insurance companies generally deal with customers convicted of DUI. First, your insurer will likely raise your insurance premiums and label you a highrisk driver if it finds out you’ve been convicted of DUI. In this case, you’ll likely have to file proof of insurance for three — sometimes five — years with your state’s department of motor vehicles. Your insurance company will have to provide the DMV with an SR-22 form, which removes your license suspension by providing the state with proof of insurance. An SR-22 also means your insurance company is required to notify the DMV if it cancels your insurance for any reason.

Most state laws require DUI convicts to get an SR-22 from their insurers, so you can’t hide. In addition, your company may cancel your insurance mid-term or terminate the policy at the end of the term because of your DUI conviction, especially if you are currently in a preferred class. Your company will send you a notice stating why you’ve been canceled, and then you’ll have to find another insurer while having a cancellation on your claims history.

Some insurance companies don’t offer SR-22 policies, so you may also be non-renewed or canceled because your company can no longer provide what you need.

Insurers can miss DUI convictions

It’s possible that your insurance company will never find out about your conviction if you don’t have to get an SR-22. A June 2002 study by the Insurance Research Council revealed that as many as one-quarter of driving convictions never end up on motor vehicle records, due to lack of shared information between courts and motor vehicle departments or because a conviction has been erased through alternative means, such as driving school.

Rates don’t always go up

You may be surprised to know that when your insurer does find out about a DUI conviction it doesn’t automatically impose higher premiums. The insurer will look at your history with the company and your claims record, and your fate is in its hands. For example, State Farm’s action depends on which subsidiary you’re with. If you have a preferred policy with State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. and receive a DUI, State Farm may move you into State Farm Fire & Casualty, which is the standard-policy company. If you’re moved from preferred to a standard status, you’ll be paying higher rates already. State Farm will also review your motor vehicle and insurance claims history to determine if it needs to raise your rates further. – By insure.com

Can what I wear to court help my case?

Going to court is a formal occasion. The members of the bench (judges) and bar (attorneys) take their role very seriously, and many chose this profession after careful reflection and many years of study. In court, there are rules about behavior, established rules of procedure and even what you can say is carefully controlled. The rules only apply in the courtroom, but how you manage them may significantly affect your case.

How you present yourself and first impressions are very important. Instead of wearing whatever you feel like (your work clothes, casual clothes, ect.) to court, ask yourself who will the judge pay more attention to?

Men should wear a suit and tie or sport coat and tie. Women should wear a business suit or nice dress. If you don’t have these kinds of clothes or don’t have time to change, at least be sure your clothes are clean.

Men should remember to shave. Get a haircut if you need one. Think of going to court like you would going for a job interview. Try to look your best. Comb your hair and be sure your hands and fingernails are clean.

Watch what you say to the judge. Rude behavior is not tolerated and you can lose your case on that kind of mistake alone. Instead, be respectful and don’t argue. Don’t get excited and don’t interrupt. Be polite.

Patience is very important. You may have to be there all morning and then return in the afternoon. You are free to leave the courtroom when you need to, but remember to tell and officer of the court that you are leaving. Officers of the court include your attorney, or public defender, the bailiff or the court clerk. If your case if called and you haven’t told someone you were leaving, the judge can issue a warrant for your immediate arrest.

Cell phones, laptop computers, handheld stereos, CD players and other similar items can not be used in court. Just sit, wait patiently, and pay attention to how other people interact with the judge. Do not read a newspaper or book while in court. This is disrespectful. Finally, and most importantly, make sure to get enough rest the night before a court date. While it is a quiet place, you should make sure never to fall asleep in court. If you do, it is likely you will be escorted out by the Marshall’s office and forced to come back to court on another date, thereby losing another day from work.

Can I get a Public Defender for my DUI?

In Connecticut, whenever someone is charged with a crime, they have a right to be represented by an attorney. Most people can afford to hire their own attorney. Some people, however, cannot afford the legal fees and may be appointed a Public Defender if the facts in their case warrant the need for a lawyer.

Connecticut was the first state to provide attorneys for people accused of crimes who could not afford one. In the context of a DUI, in some cases, a person may be able to use the services of a Public Defender if they fall below acceptable income standards. All persons who are not incarcerated must pay a $25 administrative fee if they are appointed a Public defender.

In most cases, if this is your first arrest for a DUI, you will not be able to utilize the services of a Public Defender because you are not facing mandatory jail time. If the State’s Attorney does not take the position that you will only be offered a plea which involves jail time, the judge can deny the appointment of the public defender because the State’s resources are better served by focusing on the people who are facing jail time. Also, if you are appointed a Public Defender, you get no choice in the matter. You cannot interview them to determine what experience they have had with DUI cases. You cannot choose to pick one attorney in the office with whom you feel most comfortable. Although you have a right to an attorney, you do not have a right to choose your attorney.