Texas DWI Cost 2023
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 Texas can help you prevail in your case.
Texas DWI Penalties, Punishment, and Consequences
With all of the time, money, and attention Texas devotes to a DWI arrest and prosecution, anyone charged with a DWI in the DFW area should expect to face a variety of costly DWI penalties and punishments – especially if you neglect to employ an experienced Dallas DWI attorney to fight your case. Recent drunk driving legislation has increased the minimum penalties for Class A, Class B, and felony DWI offenses as follows:
Aside from probable jail time and penalties, the negative consequences of a DWI conviction are so many that it is difficult to list ALL of the potential collateral harm. The most serious consequence of Texas drunk driving rules is that you cannot receive deferred adjudication on a DWI charge. Unless your counsel is able to win your case, have the charges dropped, or negotiate a charge reduction, straight DWI probation is your only choice. This implies that a DWI conviction will remain on your permanent criminal record and cannot be wiped or hidden in the future.
Court Costs, Fines, and Restitution
The penalty imposed by the law for a DWI conviction can quickly pile up. DWI fines can range from $2,000 for a first offense to $10,000 for intoxicated assault or homicide convictions.
You will be responsible for any court expenses or restitution in addition to fines. Court fees are the expenses incurred by the state during your prosecution and trial. These fees range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars.
Restitution entails compensating another person for the harm caused by a DWI accident. This frequently entails vehicle damage as a result of a DWI accident. In Texas, there is no monetary cap on reparation.
Alcohol Treatment and Interlock Devices
If you are convicted of DWI, the court may order you to attend alcohol treatment classes or place an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. You are obliged to cover both costs. A course in the Alcohol Education Program can cost between $70 and $200. You can drive a car with an interlock device as long as you pass a breathalyzer test. The device installation costs around $100 per month.
Raised Insurance Premiums
While this expense is not directly tied to a DWI court conviction, you should expect your premiums to rise once you regain access to your driver’s license. Proof of minimum insurance coverage is required by the state, which is much more for anyone with a DWI conviction on their record. This type of proof, known as an SR-22, marks you as a high-risk driver. After a conviction, you should expect your insurance prices to rise for several years.
One cost you may overlook is the cost of having your car towed and impounded. The police will not leave your vehicle on the side of the road for safety concerns. They will not only tow and impound your vehicle, but you must also pay the impound cost before you can get it back. A tow can cost several hundred dollars, and impounding a vehicle costs about $20 per day.
Depending on the complexity of your case, attorney fees can be substantial. Every lawyer assesses a case individually, and there is no predetermined price schedule for defending a DWI accusation.
The Value of a Texas DWI Lawyer
With the right DWI defense attorney in Texas, 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 a Texas DWI Lawyer.