Unless you’re an expert at law, it can be unclear whether you need a lawyer or not in certain situations. One of those situations is when you are forced to file SR-22 insurance with the state.
The SR-22 certificate may increase the cost of your insurance and will have numerous other mostly negative effects on your life. But how does the SR-22 actually work, and will you need a lawyer to help you deal with everything?
We’re going to get to the bottom of this. Keep reading to discover the answers!
What Is an SR-22?
An SR-22 certificate is required proof that you have met the minimum car insurance requirements in your state. Some drivers get confused about all of this because they hear terms such as “SR-22 insurance.” However, there is no special type of insurance for those who must file an SR-22.
Instead, Sr-22 refers to a certificate that an insurance company will file with the state on your behalf, certifying you are carrying the correct amount of insurance for that state. Drivers who are required to file an SR-22 are typically considered high-risk drivers and their insurance rates will correspond to this designation.
Why You May Be Required to Get an SR-22
A conviction for reckless driving may result in an SR-22. The same goes for traffic infractions where you commit several violations in a short time period. If you are caught driving without insurance, you may be required to file an SR-22. If your license is suspended for any reason, you will most likely have to file an SR-22.
The most common event that triggers an SR-22 requirement is a conviction for DUI or DWI. These convictions are at the heart of whether you need to hire a lawyer during this process.
Will You Need a Lawyer with Your SR-22?
If you are challenging the reason behind an SR-22 requirement, then it might not be a bad idea. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI, you can expect to face tremendous financial costs – and part of that may be attorney’s fees if you intend to contest your DUI charge. However, if an attorney helps resolve your case with the DUI charge being dismissed, it’s probably well worth the cost.
As we noted before, most who have an SR-22 on file do so because they are convicted of a DUI or DWI. There are other consequences (financial and beyond) to having such a conviction on your record. Because of this, many people need a lawyer to help defend against the initial charge. You may not have a choice in this matter beyond hiring a lawyer of your own choice if you can afford to do so or getting a public defender if you cannot.
What can the lawyer do for you? If your lawyer is successful, then you can avoid a conviction or challenge a previous conviction. If you can avoid or overturn a conviction, then you may be able to avoid having to file an SR-22 in the first place.
While it is less common, some drivers also consult with a lawyer to help them navigate confusing SR-22 paperwork. Keep in mind, though, that your insurance carrier will likely help in this matter at no additional charge.
Is an SR-22 Expensive?
No. The filing fee for an SR-22 is between $15 to $25. However, the insurance that goes along with an SR-22 can be quite high. The association between needing an SR-22 and insurance prices is that someone who needs an SR-22 is seen by insurance companies as being a risky investment. And so they charge accordingly.
While the paperwork is not expensive, having an SR-22 on file means you’ll pay more for car insurance. Some drivers end up paying around 30% more for their insurance. Other drivers end up paying nearly 400% more!
How Long Will an SR-22 Be Required?
Generally speaking, drivers must have an SR-22 on file for a minimum of three years.
This varies from state to state, case to case, and driver to driver. The important thing to remember is that if you let your insurance coverage lapse, the state will find out. Insurance companies are required to report that information in real-time. This could potentially lead you to not only starting your SR-22 term over, but it could make it hard to find an insurance company willing to work with you.
Find Cheap SR-22 Auto Insurance Quotes
The Bottom Line with SR-22 and Hiring a Lawyer
A conviction for DWI can cost upwards of $25,000-$45,000. That includes the three-year term of paying double or triple the normal cost for car insurance when you are required to file an SR-22 certificate. Choosing to hire an attorney will be expensive, but if you think you have a good chance of beating the DWI conviction, it’s probably money well spent. On the other hand, fighting a DWI that results in a conviction anyway means you’ve added to an already financially heavy burden.
Consulting with an attorney prior to making a decision may be your best bet.
Save Money and Get the Best SR-22 Insurance Today
As you can tell, an SR-22 can make your insurance very expensive over the years. But what if you could save on every single payment?
The best way to save is by switching insurance carriers. Getting quotes from different carriers is the best way to get a better SR-22 rate. What if you could get competitive rates at the click of a button?
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