When arrested for driving while intoxicated there are some serious consequences that you may face, and this doesn’t even begin to factor in the costs involved. Collin Evans, DWI lawyer Houston, can help with both the consequences and the cost.
Believe it or not, the fees that come from obtaining a DWI lawyer and fighting the arrest in court are just the beginning if you get a DWI conviction. This is due to the substantial amount of money for DWI fines and penalties in Texas.
The fees that come with a DWI conviction are becoming increasingly harsh. For instance, if you have been convicted of a first time DWI, you can face a fine of up to $2,000 and have your license suspended for up to one year. That fine could double to $4,000, if you gave a breath or blood sample and the results are 0.15 BAC or higher.
That’s not all. Drivers convicted of DWI and placed on probation must pay in order to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicles. Additionally, drivers who are convicted and required to serve jail time or pay a fine would have to get an interlock device installed as a requirement to obtain an Occupational Driver’s License. This device is wired into the ignition system of your vehicle and utilizes technology similar to what is used in breathalyzer tests. In other words, you will have to blow into the device in order to start your vehicle.
If alcohol has been detected your vehicle will not be able to drive. The accumulated costs for this device, which approximate the total of having the device installed and removed as well as the monthly service charges required for the length of time that it is installed in the vehicle and warranty/insurance fees, can range from approximately $1,000 to upwards of $3,000, if there were no restart fees for a lockout. That could be an additional bill of more than $80 a month just to have an embarrassing machine to hassle with every time you drive that possibly could send you back to jail.
The cost of a conviction for a DWI offense may also include alcohol education and/or treatment. If placed on probation, you will have to participate in the education program to avoid getting your license suspended. A treatment program can cost from $150-$2,000 for basic outpatient services. You may also have to pay license reinstatement and related fees which can cost anywhere from $100-$450.
All in all, the expenses involving a typical DWI conviction (fines, fees, bail, insurance) can be as much as $10,000.
Additional costs to remember include:
- Rising insurance premiums
- Lost time at work (court dates, community service, jail time, etc.)
- Lost wages due to your license being suspended
- Loss of your employment if your license is required for your job
In addition, A DWI could possibly stay on your criminal records, something that potential employers will see if they do a background check. This has the potential to ruin your chances of getting jobs. In Texas a conviction like this can stay on your record forever. There is no deferred adjudication, where you are not convicted if completed successfully, in Texas. A conviction or guilty plea will stay on your record forever.
Thankfully, if you know how to fight the charges against you properly, it is possible to avoid paying more DWI costs. If you are in Houston and would like to avoid the high costs associated with a DWI conviction, consider hiring the Law Office of Collin Evans. They can help you deal with the frustration, stress, and anxiety that come from navigating the criminal justice system.