How Much Does a DWI Cost in Texas?
The cost of a DWI case includes not only expenses related to your legal defense, but also the costs, including fines, that follow a conviction. Mounting a strong case and avoiding conviction will allow you to avoid the majority of DWI-related expenses. A seasoned DWI attorney in Dallas-Fort Worth can help you prevail in your case.
Court Costs, Fines, and Restitution
The fines prescribed by law for a DWI conviction can really add up. The fines for a DWI could be as much as $2,000 for a first-time offense and go all the way up to $10,000 for intoxication assault or manslaughter charges.
In addition to fines, you will also be on the hook for any court costs or restitution. Court costs represent the expenses the state incurs during your prosecution and trial. These charges vary between several hundred to over one thousand dollars.
Restitution involves repaying another person for harming them in a DWI crash. This often involves vehicle damages resulting from a DWI crash. There is no limit on restitution amounts in Texas.
Alcohol Treatment and Interlock Devices
Upon a conviction for DWI, the court could order you to attend alcohol treatment courses or install an interlock device on your vehicle. You are expected to front the costs for both. An Alcohol Education Program course can run between $70 and $200. An interlock device allows you to operate a motor vehicle as long as you pass a breathalyzer test. The cost of installing the device is roughly $100 per month.
Raised Insurance Premiums
While this cost is not directly related to a DWI court conviction, you can count on your premiums going up once you get your driver’s license back. The state requires proof of minimum insurance coverage, which is significantly higher for anyone with a DWI conviction on their record. This form of proof, referred to as an SR-22, flags you as a high-risk driver. You can expect your insurance premiums to be elevated for years after a conviction.
One cost you might not consider is the expense of having your car towed and impounded. For safety reasons, the police will not leave your vehicle on the side of the road. Not only will they tow and impound your car, but you must pay the impound bill before you can get your vehicle back. A tow can run you several hundred dollars, and impounding costs around $20 per day.
Attorney fees can be a significant cost depending on the complexity of your case. Every attorney evaluates a case differently, and there is no set fee schedule for defending a DWI charge.
The Value of a North Texas DWI Lawyer
With the right DWI defense attorney, you have the chance to prevail at trial and avoid the costs of a conviction entirely. The cost of a qualified defense attorney is an investment in keeping your criminal record clean and avoiding the more expensive cost of a DWI conviction. To learn more about how a seasoned lawyer can help, including with Texas DWI expungement or getting your DWI sealed, contact the Peveto Law Office today.