When you get pulled over for a DWI, there can be some serious consequences. Whether you face jail time or not, you’re likely going to pay some pretty big fines for the charges. You can work with a DWI defense lawyer to help reduce fines or charges, and to navigate the court processes.
How much will you pay if you’re convicted? Check out more details below.
What exactly is a DWI? DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.” The official stipulations of the law might vary from state to state, but they will all be similar. Ultimately, you can be charged with a DWI if you are deemed to not be in control of your physical and mental faculties or if you have a blood alcohol level that exceeds .08.
The Costs of DWI Convictions
How much a DWI conviction will cost you will heavily depend on the level of your intoxication as well as whether this is your first, second, third, or higher offense.
In Texas, there are guidelines for the maximum penalties based on the offense and the charge. For example, first and second DWI offenses are typically classified as misdemeanors. The situation that led to receiving the DWI might have an effect on the class of misdemeanor.
In the event someone was critically injured, the charges could change as well.
When you reach your third DWI in Texas, the charges are escalated to felony charges. This significantly increases the sentencing and the fines. No matter which type of charge or which offense, you could be dishing out quite a bit of cash on your fines.
Here is a quick overview of what the fines look like in Texas:
- First Offense – up to $2,000
- Second Offense – up to $4,000
- Third Offense – up to $10,000
- Child Passenger – up to $10,000
- Manslaughter or Assault – up to $10,000
Take note that these fines say UP TO that amount. Just because you are convicted doesn’t mean you will pay the entire amount.
Additional Costs to Consider
The above numbers are just the costs of potential fines for your DWI conviction. On top of that, in Texas, you could have several other fees and expenses that you incur.
Here are some additional fees that you need to be prepared for:
- Court costs
- Attorney fees
- Bail bonds
- Driver’s license surcharges
- License reinstatement
- Loss of wages
- Vehicle impound and towing
- Intervention programs
- Auto insurance increases
The Texas Department of Transportation imposes surcharges on your driver’s license based on the conviction that you receive.
Combatting Costly DWI Conviction Expenses
When you’re facing DWI charges, it’s a good idea to hire a DWI defense lawyer to take your case. While this will be an expense, it could potentially save you a lot of money on overall fines and extra charges. A lawyer might be able to help you get reduced charges or a reduced sentence that will save you some money after a DWI.