Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I know there are serious legal consequences for Texas DWI charge, but I have heard that even a first time Texas DWI can cost as much as $17,000. Is this true? This seems really high.”
Texas DWI Overview
Getting a Texas DWI is very serious. Not only is there a social stigma, there is also a very high financial cost. Let’s take a detailed look at all the costs and expenses you can expect to pay.
First, if you are arrested for a Texas DWI you will have to post bail. Bail can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Next, you will be required to pay Texas DWI fines that are charged by the court.
Were you driving your car at the time of the Texas DWI arrest? Then you will have to pay to have your car freed from the impound which his another $200.
If you are convicted for a Texas DWI you will also be charged DWI fines. First time Texas DWI fines can range from $2,000 to more than $10,000 if you were operating your vehicle while a minor was in the car with you.
Other fines you can expect to pay include the following:
- Costs to hire a lawyer – up to $10,000
- Costs to attend Texas DUI/DWI Classes- $475
- Costs to reinstate your driver’s license after a DWI- $100
- Cost of increased insurance rates- up to $5,000
- Costs to install an ignition interlock device- $1,300
Additional DWI costs that might be hard to calculate
In addition to the costs outlined above, there may be other costs. For instance, if there has been property damage or personal injury, expenses could be much higher. Drivers who are injured themselves may also face high medical bills and loss of employment income while they recover from their injuries.
Other drivers might also find their employment in jeopardy if their occupation requires the use of a commercial driver’s license or professional license, such as commercial truck driver or an airline pilot.
Even if you do not lose your job after a Texas DWI, you may still lose significant work time attending court appointments, performing community service, or attending mandatory counseling sessions.
How can I save money after a Texas DWI?
One of the most expensive costs of a Texas DWI is hiring a DWI lawyer to defend you of the DWI charges. You can avoid this expense by fighting your DWI charges on your own, but before doing this, it’s important to consider all of your options.
Not hiring a lawyer and pleading guilty can also have some very serious long-term consequences. For instance, individuals convicted of DWI generally will not be able to have the charges expunged from their driving record. They will also incur many of the costs outlined above.
Even given the high cost, hiring a lawyer and successfully defending yourself against DWI charges is generally the most effective way to avoid some of the more serious consequences and expenses of a DWI charge.
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