A Texas DWI can cost you your freedom, money, and future. Depending on the circumstances, you could face heavy fines, possible jail time, and even lose your license forever.
What You Are Paying For When Convicted of a DWI in Texas
The Texas Department of Transportation confirms that a DWI conviction can cost you more than just time in jail. A first-time offense could face $2,000 in fines (and further fees) and a possible license suspension that can last up to a year.
Second or third offenses can land you behind bars for up to 10 years and leave you with thousands of dollars in expenses. You will also have to pay for:
A DWI conviction can carry with it steep fines and possible jail time, but one cost you might not immediately think about is legal fees. Under Section 49.09(b) of the Texas Penal Code, you would face a possible felony charge with your second or third DWI. Most people want to face such a life-altering charge by hiring a lawyer.
Court Fees and Fines
You could face thousands of dollars in court fees and fines if you’re found guilty. These vary depending on your circumstances, but you should expect to pay hundreds or even thousands for an average first-time offense.
The Texas Department of Public Safety states that a DWI conviction could also require enrollment in a 12- or 32-hour alcohol education class. You can do it through sessions that could cost at least $100 online or in a classroom.
Suspension of Driver License
Your driver’s license could be suspended. If you need your license for work purposes, you could factor in additional transportation costs. If you aren’t insured, your auto insurance provider may cancel your policy – if they don’t already exclude drivers known to have multiple convictions.
Finally, if anyone was injured due to your actions while driving drunk, those people (or their families) might sue you personally for damages incurred.
You could also have to pay restitution fees to another party who suffered losses due to your actions. How much restitution you owe depends on how much damage you inflicted during your arrest or crash.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice notes that you could be required to pay the victim money or perform community service at their request (or if you cannot afford to pay).
You may be given probation and required to pay monthly probation fees. The amount will vary based on your circumstances; some counties charge more for an adult probationer than others.
In addition, if you cannot make your court-ordered payments on time, there could be severe consequences. For example, a judge could revoke your probation and send you to jail.
SR-22 & Increased Insurance Rates
Your actions can cause you to pay more for car insurance. You might need to file an SR-22 form with your insurance company as proof that you are carrying an additional $100,000 surety bond or liability policy. If convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), your auto insurance premiums will most likely rise.
This is because states consider drunk driving a fault accident, regardless of whether another party caused it. The costs associated with filing an SR22 and other potential legal fees add up quickly.
For a free legal consultation, call (972) 535-6377
A Texas DWI Lawyer Can Help
If you’re facing charges for drunk driving or a related offense, you may want to contact your attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights and legal options are not compromised. They can inform you about what penalties you could face if convicted of these charges.
In some cases, having an attorney on your side with experience dealing with judges and prosecutors could help you avoid even having to go through a trial. In addition, an attorney could help you avoid costly fines or other consequences such as jail time by negotiating with prosecutors on your behalf.
Underwood Law Office Is Ready to Stand By You After a Texas DWI
If you are arrested for a DWI, contact Underwood Law Office in Texas. We provide free consultations and conduct a thorough investigation to protect your rights. Call (972) 535-6377 today to get started. Our criminal defense lawyers can fight to reduce or waive your charges. Our reviews support our statements that we work for our clients and their families.