Most people understand that getting arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Texas will cost some money. But, I don’t think many people realize just how much the total bill will end up being. Of course, charges and fees will vary depending on the severity of the charge and whether you have been convicted of DWI in the past. Bottom line: the state of Texas makes money when you get arrested.
Thinking about the financial aspect is just one consideration that a Texas driver should be aware of when he or she makes the decision to drive under the influence. In addition to the financial cost, there is the social stigma, the time burdens, and the overall inconvenience of the whole thing. If you have been arrested, it is still possible for you to minimize some of the circumstances if you work with the right attorney. Contacting an experienced DWI defense lawyer is the first step in decreasing your burden.
In Texas, you are facing severe consequences when charged with DWI. For instance, a DWI conviction will likely lead to license suspension, alcohol education classes, Ignition Interlock installation, fines, jail time, and vehicle impoundment.
After being arrested for DWI in Texas, you will likely first post bail. This, in addition to possible towing and impound fees for your car, can cost you well over a thousand dollars. If you are convicted of Driving while Intoxicated in Texas, you will be required to pay a sizable fine along with court costs and the charges associated with installing an Ignition Interlock device in your vehicle.
The following is an example of the estimated costs associated with a first-time Driving while Intoxicated offense conviction in Texas:
Criminal DWI fines: $600-$11,500
Alcohol education classes: $475
License reinstatement fee: $100
Increased insurance rates: $9,000
Ignition Interlock installation fees: $1,300
Of course, these are only approximations and the proper DWI defense attorney will be able to answer specific questions related to costs and fees. Furthermore, the list above only speaks to generic costs. There are other financial considerations as well. Consider potential property damage, loss of employment and income, and insured and uninsured medical costs.
Don’t forget that if you have been convicted of DWI in Texas before, the fines will increase quite dramatically. Not only do the fines increase, but the required jail time is extended and your driver’s license will likely be suspended for a longer period of time.
At times, DWI charged may seem hopeless and many people just want to plead guilty to get the whole matter over with. But you should not automatically plead guilty! It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney in order for him or her to review the facts of your specific case before entering a plea.