Costs of a Dallas, Texas DWI Conviction
Being arrested for driving while intoxicated in Dallas will cost you a lot, both figuratively and literally. The intangible costs include the stress of being arrested and losing your license and the long term ramifications on your permanent record and your future employment prospects.
The literal, tangible financial costs for DWI, however, can be exorbitant once you add up all of the legal fees, penalties, and fines. In 2011, the Texas Department of Transportation estimated the costs of a Texas DWI to be upwards of $17,000, and things are not getting any less expensive over time.
The Financials of a Dallas DWI
Short Term Costs: After you are arrested for driving while intoxicated in Dallas, you will have immediate short term expenses, beginning with bail. Your bail will range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the severity of the offense. Although you will receive your bail back following sentencing, subtracted from it will be nonrefundable DWI fees that Texas imposes. Another immediate expense you will incur are the fees for towing and impound that you will have to pay in exchange for your vehicle. This will be a minimum of $150-$250. Finally, if you cannot get a temporary hardship license, which lets you drive to and from work or school during the suspension period, then you also will have to pay for alternate transportation, another short term expense.
Long Term Costs: The long term costs of a Dallas DWI are even more outrageous. Costs for an experienced Dallas DWI attorney to handle your case will likely run between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the complexity. That is in addition to criminal DWI fines, which can range from $500 to $11,500. On top of that, you must attend and pay for DWI classes, which will cost another $500, and pay a fee to reinstate your license of $100 or more. If it is a second or subsequent offense and you are required to have an ignition interlock device, that can cost an additional $1500. Finally, your insurance costs over the next several years could cost you several thousand dollars in additional fees as a direct result of your DWI.
Other Potential Costs: There are several other complications that might raise costs if you are arrested for DWI. If there is any property damage or medical bills that result from your DWI, you will face costs in conjunction with those, especially any uninsured losses. In many cases of DWI, there is a loss of employment income, and a person charged and convicted in Dallas of DWI can easily lose his or her job, especially if the occupation requires a CDL license or any other type of driving. If you are a surgeon or a pilot or a captain of a vessel or train, a conviction can interrupt and negatively affect the status of your professional license.
Even if you are lucky enough to keep your current employment position, you will likely lose money from missing work, as you will have many court appearances, community service, DUI classes, counseling, and in some cases, a jail sentence.
The Wilder DWI Defense Firm Understands
At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm, we always keep in mind the high costs of a DWI conviction and do everything possible to reduce the severity of any charges you face. If you have been charged with DWI or intoxicated manslaughter, contact us. We look forward to helping you keep your costs down and your future bright.
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