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Can Bankruptcy Eliminate A Personal Injury Judgment from A DUI Or DWI?


We have all made a mistake or two in our lifetime. For some of us, those mistakes unfortunately resulted in a conviction related to driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol which continues to be a huge issue in this country. And while the concept of bankruptcy may seem to be completely unrelated to any kind of drug or alcohol-related conviction, there is an intersection any time that someone who has previously incurred a conviction of this kind is filing a bankruptcy petition. Generally speaking, filing for bankruptcy on a personal level typically means that a borrower can either discharge or redistribute debt. However, this can become more complicated when it comes to debts incurred because of wrongful actions. What happens when there’s a debt because of a DUI or DWI?

Is a DUI-Related Debt a Debt that Can be Included in a Bankruptcy Petition?

A conviction for DUI or DWI can have a significant financial impact and create circumstances that contribute to the necessity of filing for bankruptcy. Despite this, it is important to understand that the kinds of personal debts directly associated with convictions of this kind generally may not be discharged through bankruptcy. More specifically, section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code explicitly provides that there are exceptions to the debts that may be discharged through the bankruptcy process, including those incurred for “willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another entity”. As such, bankruptcy cannot be used to get around this kind of debt.

What Should I Do if I Want to File Bankruptcy But Suspect That Debt Related to a Conviction is Imminent? 

For some people, it makes the most sense to simply deal with the DUI and resulting implications before filing bankruptcy. However, in other cases, filing bankruptcy before the civil suit in question that arose out of a DUI actually results in a judgment makes more sense. Either way, it is best to turn to a bankruptcy law firm that you can trust to help you decide upon the best time to file bankruptcy in lieu of your individual circumstances.

Are You Concerned About How a Past Mistake May Affect Your Bankruptcy?

None of us are perfect and many borrowers have aspects of their past that they are worried could affect the possibility of a successful outcome of their bankruptcy petition. Some past mistakes have bigger impacts on the present than others, but anything that seems potentially questionable should always be discussed as early as possible with an experienced legal advocate. As the Plantation bankruptcy attorneys at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, we have seen a lot of different things during our years helping borrowers from all walks of life, and we approach every situation offering our knowledge and help, not judgment. Whether you are worried about the implications of a DUI or DWI or of some other circumstance that resulted from a past mistake, you can depend on us to offer honest advice about your best options for improving your financial situation through bankruptcy at this point as soon as you reach out for a free consultation.

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