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Can the CHP Bill Me for a DUI Accident?

After a DUI accident involving one or more vehicles, a DUI defendant may receive a bill out of the blue from the California Highway Patrol, charging them hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for responding to the crash. This bill usually comes as a complete shock.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County and you received such a bill, you were probably caught off-guard and you may even be wondering if this is normal. Unfortunately, it is.

Don’t Ignore the CHP’s Bill

If concerned friends or family told you to just disregard the bill, you received bad advice. If you fail to pay the bill from the CHP, the CHP bill will be sent to collections. This means that the debt will show up on your credit report and just like any bill sent to collections, it will negatively affect your FICO score.

If your CHP debt went to collections, is there anything you can do to get it removed from your credit report? After all, it seems unfair that the CHP billed you in addition to the court-ordered fines that you paid when you were convicted of DUI.

If the debt goes to collections, there’s not much you can do but pay the bill, and wait the seven years for it to fall of your credit report. On your credit report, it’s treated like any other debt that’s sent to collections.

Is it Common for the CHP to Bill Drunk Drivers?

It’s fairly common for law enforcement agencies, including the CHP to bill DUI defendants for the emergency response costs stemming from a DUI incident, specifically a DUI accident involving property damage, debris in the road, road closures, and one or more ambulances. Essentially, the more of an inconvenience the accident was, the bigger the bill.

The government is entitled to recover such costs; however, not every DUI leads to a CHP bill. Nonetheless, it’s not uncommon for law enforcement to send a bill to the DUI defendant following a DUI incident involving emergency services.

What the CHP can bill for depends on the circumstances of the case and what the CHP officers did at the scene. Generally, a person is involved in a DUI accident and that’s what triggers the CHP’s ability to bill a DUI defendant for their time.

Were You Recently in a DUI Accident?

If you were involved in a DUI accident, there’s a good chance you will receive a bill from law enforcement, billing you for their services. If you’re in this situation, your best bet is to contact an Orange County DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.

We can answer your questions, tell you how to address such a bill, explain your rights and defenses under the law, and inform you of which strategies would best fight your charges.

Don’t wait another minute. Call today for a free case evaluation!