Bankruptcy And DUI Debts: What Can Be Discharged?

Posted on: 23 April 2021

As most know, a driving under the influence conviction can result in some pretty stern punishment. Chief among those are the financial ramifications. It can cost upwards of $5,000 or more to deal with DUI matters and that will put a strain on anyone's budget. If the strain from legal matters and other issues has you considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be wondering what can be discharged. Read on and find out more about how bankruptcy treats legal debts like a DUI conviction.

What to Expect in DUI Costs

One thing DUI offenders will quickly realize is that it's not just about paying a lawyer and court costs. Those costs are only part of a surprisingly wide variety of financial obligations. Take a look at a few common legal costs connected to a DUI or other criminal legal matters:

  • Payment for a criminal defense attorney
  • District court costs
  • Driver's license fees, such as payment for a new hardship license or the reinstatement of a regular driver's license
  • Fees for the installation and monitoring of an ignition interlock device
  • Probation and/or parole fees
  • Court-ordered counseling and classes
  • Bail and jail costs
  • Court-ordered fines

Legal Matters and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

While bankruptcy can discharge a number of debts, the financial costs of a DUI are not among them. All legal obligations will remain after you file. That being said, the debt relief brought about by a Chapter 7 filing will still benefit filers. Your legal obligations are likely only a drop in the bucket compared to your other debts. Credit card debt alone can use up hundreds of dollars a month as you try to make the minimum payment requirements. With the elimination of the bulk of your debt, money is freed up to pay your legal obligations and for other needs. With that thought in mind, the following debts can be eliminated with a Chapter 7 filing:

  • 100% of your credit card debt
  • All medical debt
  • All personal and signature loans
  • All title and paycheck loans
  • Some older tax debts
  • Some student loan debt (if certain parameters are met)

You may also benefit from a Chapter 13 filing. With that type of bankruptcy, your debts can be reorganized so that it's easier to make the payments each month. If you have legal and other debts and cannot afford your monthly minimum payments, you need debt relief. Speak to a local bankruptcy attorney about your situation and free yourself of that financial burden.