How Expensive Is a DWI in Texas?
DWI-Related Expenses That Can Cost You
A DWI conviction can have a profound and lasting impact on your life and financial future. Below, we will discuss common fees and costs you will have to cover if you are convicted of a DWI offense in Texas.
It is also important to note these expenses can vary based on how costs and expenses change over time. The related costs can also vary based on the specifics of your case. An attorney can advise you of what costs you should anticipate.
Here are the ways a driving while intoxicated conviction can cost you.
- Alcohol monitoring system installation fees. After a DWI conviction, you may be required (by the court) to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car or wear a SCRAM device. An ignition interlock device requires you to take a breathalyzer test in order to start and operate your vehicle. A SCRAM device is essentially an ankle monitor that tests your sweat for alcohol every half hour. These devices can cost you about $250 per month.
- Attorney’s fees. Attorneys have their own fee structure and rates; you will need to review the terms of your agreement with your attorney.
- Criminal penalties and court fees. You will have to pay $2,000-$10,000 in fines depending on whether you are a first-time or repeat offender as well as case specifics. You will also have to pay court processing fees, which can cost up to $400. If you receive probation or bail, you will also have to cover those costs.
- DWI/Alcohol education program costs. First-time offenders on probation as well as repeat offenders can be mandated to complete a DWI Education course. First-time offenders typically have to complete a 12-hour course that discusses the effects of alcohol and drugs on the body, brain, and driving abilities. Repeat offenders are expected to complete a longer course as well as attend a support group or 12-step program. While the 12-hour course can cost up to $185, the longer course can cost up to $250.
- Insurance rate increases. A DWI conviction will appear on your driving record, which insurance companies have access to; your insurance premium can increase drastically because of the conviction (i.e. by up to $665 more than each year).
- Occupational license fees. Your license may be suspended if you are convicted of a DWI offense, and if you need to drive to work or school, you may apply for an occupational license. If you are eligible, you will have to pay about $10 per year for the license.
- Substance abuse evaluation fees. This fee is only applicable in cases where you receive probation. In most cases, when awarded probation, you must submit to a substance abuse evaluation. Based on the evaluation, you may be required to attend outpatient treatment, counseling, or a residential treatment program as a term of your probation. The evaluation costs $40 unless you are being evaluated for the second time within a year; the cost for a second evaluation is $60.
- Towing and impound fees. After your arrest, your car will likely be towed and impounded. Towing can cost up to $450, and impounding costs approximately $20 each day.
- Victim impact panel fees. If you are awarded probation, the court may require you to attend a victim impact panel (VIP), which is where victims of DWI-related accidents can share with those convicted of DWIs how they have been affected by the accident/crime. You may have to pay up to $60 to attend this panel.
A DWI conviction can also affect your employment status and ability to work, and thus, a conviction can also affect your income. You may be let go if you work with children or vulnerable adults, in the medical, insurance, banking, or securities industry, or in a position that requires you have a professional license like a nurse. A loss of income isn’t necessarily an expense but can impact your financial health, and you should consult with your attorney concerning how a conviction can affect your employment status.
Depending on your profession, you may also lose your professional license as felony convictions can affect your eligibility to keep certain licenses. A conviction will appear on your background check, which can also affect your future job prospects.
Contact Our Firm
At The Clark Law Firm, our attorneys are committed to helping our clients protect their rights, freedom, and future. We understand that facing criminal charges, including a DWI offense, can be scary because of the financial and criminal consequences you can face. Once you retain our services, we can work tirelessly to achieve the best possible case results so that you can avoid having a permanent mark on your record and financial burdens.
Learn more about how we can help you by scheduling an initial consultation today. Call (817) 435-4970 or reach out online to speak with a member of our team.