Getting charged with a DUI or DWI in Texas is unfortunately not an inexpensive situation. There are many different moving parts of the process that all involve monetary investment. Following are different parts of the legal process and what you can expect to pay.
In order to build a strong case, it’s vital to have an experienced lawyer by your side who specializes in DWI and DUI cases. The cost of a DUI lawyer can depend on various factors such as how the lawyer charges clients, their background, the details and complexity of your case, and if your case ends up going to trial. You can expect to pay up to roughly $5,000 in lawyer fees if you don’t go to trial, and about double that amount if you do.
If convicted, the cost of appearing in court is the responsibility of the defendant. These court costs can range from about $200 to $1,500. Defendants who end up being convicted also face a fine of up to $2,000. If there were aggravating factors such as it being a second- or third-time offense, or if intoxication assault or manslaughter were involved, the fines can amount to up to $10,000.
If convicted of a DUI, you will most likely have your license suspended; to get it reinstated, you will have to pay a surcharge annually for three years. For a first-time offense, you will have to pay $1,000 a year; second time offense, $1,500 a year; and a third time offense is $2,000 a year.
Probation and Program Fees
You may not face jail time if convicted of a DWI or DUI, but you certainly will be put on probation for at least six months. If you’re a repeat offender or if there were aggravating circumstances in the crime, your probation period will be even longer. Monthly probation fees are roughly between $60 and $100.
You may also be obliged to partake in an Alcohol Education Program, which costs around $70. If you’re a repeat offender, you may be required to take a DWI Intervention Program, which costs around $185 and is much more extensive than the first class.
Ignition Interlock Device Cost
If you’ve been convicted of a DWI two or more times in the span of five years, you’ll most likely be required to have an ignition switch installed in your car. This device is a mini breathalyzer, which keeps your vehicle from starting unless your BAC is under a certain limit. The device typically costs between $70 and $100 per month.
If you are charged and sent to jail, you may post bail to be let out. If you make all required court appearances and follow all court orders and probations, the bail will be returned to you in the end, but will still have to be initially paid. The cost of the bail depends on multiple factors, such as past DWI or criminal convictions, willingness to submit to chemical texting, and if any aggravated offenses were committed during the DWI. First time bail is typically between $200-$1,000.
If your license is suspended, you will need to show proof of minimum liability coverage in order to have it reinstated. You will also need to obtain an SR-22 in order to get your driver’s license reinstated, which acts as proof of your financial liability. It typically costs around $20 to file for an SR-22, and if it’s not paid for or canceled, your driver’s license will be suspended.
In addition, your car insurance costs and premiums will most likely drastically increase after receiving a DUI or DWI conviction.
Vehicle Impound Cost
If you’re arrested on the grounds of a DWI, the vehicle you were driving will be towed and impounded. Costs for this can vary depending on your car, however a typical towing fee is around $250-$450. The impound lot charges an additional fee of around $5-$20 a day for every day your vehicle is there.
Contact Our DWI Lawyers in Austin, TX
Dealing with a DUI or DWI charge can be costly, confusing, and overwhelming – which is why we’re here to help. Going through the process alone can put your freedoms at risk and leave you not knowing the steps you’re supposed to take.
If you’re arrested for a DUI or DWI, the first thing you should do is call the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez. We are on standby ready to help you win your case and make the process as easy as possible.