If you get charged for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Virginia, you can expect to pay a fine between $250 and a hefty $2,500. On top of the fines, you may be asked to pay for any damages and injuries you cause if your intoxication leads to a motor vehicle accident. While some might find such penalties and expenses within their spending power, you might find yourself in a situation where you don’t have enough funds to pay it all off.
What happens if you receive a DUI charge while your finances are in the red?
You might think that bankruptcy might hold the key to solving your debt. After all, one of the functions of declaring bankruptcy is allowing individuals to get a court order that “discharges” them of most of their debts. But would bankruptcy cancel out the money you owe for a DUI charge?
Limitations of bankruptcy discharges
While bankruptcy can cancel certain debts, it can’t discharge them all. Declaring bankruptcy – whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – doesn’t discharge you from paying court fines. It also doesn’t absolve you from paying for personal injury damages caused by drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs.
Other debts bankruptcy can’t cancel include:
- Child support
- Most types of student loans
- Most types of taxes
Although bankruptcy can’t wipe away the debt related to your DUI offense, there are other ways to ease your financial pressure. You could hire a lawyer experienced in drunk driving law who can fight your charge and find ways to reduce the penalties you face. Alternatively, you could also speak with a bankruptcy lawyer who can assess your financial situation and help you find a solution to pay off your court fines while keeping other creditors off your back.