I was driving down the road the other day and I saw a billboard that said something along the lines of “A $20.00 cab ride beats a $10,000 DWI.” This slogan rings true and as a Raleigh criminal defense attorney, I can tell you that the costs of a DWI are great and they continue for quite some time after the court process is over.
What are the Costs of a DWI?
The costs of a DWI start immediately after the arrest, the first being any bond that is required. This cost is usually very minimal compared to the others associated with a DWI.
Once you are charged, you lose your license for 30 days due to the civil revocation that is imposed when charged with a DWI. Under most circumstances, you are eligible for a pretrial limited driving privilege after 10 days of being charged with the DWI. To obtain this privilege, you must complete a substance abuse assessment, which will usually cost around $100 and you will also have to pay $100 to the court for the limited driving privilege.
This privilege will allow you to drive the remaining 30 days of your civil revocation. After the 30 days of your civil revocation have passed, you are eligible to get your license back from the court, but only after you pay another $100 to the court.
What Happens 30 Days After a DWI Arrest?
So 30 days have passed since you were charged with DWI, you may have already hired an attorney, but if you haven’t, you are probably getting ready to do so. A reasonable attorney’s fee to handle a DWI is going to be around $2,500. After these above-mentioned fees, you may find that there is a stall on the payment of costs while your case is going through the court process.
If you have a hearing and you are found not guilty, then good for you. You are done paying costs for this DWI, so move on with your life and chalk this up to a lesson learned.
If you are not so lucky and you are convicted of this DWI, then the expense of this crime is getting ready to really kick in.
Once convicted, you will be ordered to take the substance abuse assessment unless you have already done so and complete the treatment. The treatment costs can vary because it is determined by the assessment, which takes into account your past history with alcohol and drugs. The minimum someone would pay for their treatment would be between $150 to $200; however, someone could also have to pay significantly more than that if the assessment determines such.
If you have the option to do community service instead of active jail time, then you will have to pay the $250 community service fee. Yes, that’s right folks, community service is not free. The judge can and will assess a fine, which is in their discretion and depends on your sentencing level. The minimum is usually $100, but depending on the level, someone can be assessed as much as a $4,000 fine.
There is the mandatory $100 DWI fine added into the court costs, which are approximately $190. In addition to these mandatory costs, if you have a trial and your blood was drawn, there is the $600 lab fee and if the chemical analyst is subpoenaed to testify, it is another $600 fee tacked onto the bill of costs.
Will You Lose Your License if You Have a DWI?
Now at the same time all of these expenses are being thrown at you, you have to surrender your license for a minimum of one year. If you are eligible, you can get a limited driving privilege, but, yep you guessed it, that is another $100 fee due to the court. If you are not eligible for a driving privilege, then I can’t imagine what you will have to pay someone to drive you back and forth to work or anywhere else you may need to go in the next year.
What Happens a Year After My License is Revoked?
After your year is up, you are more than ready to go to the DMV and get your license back. For some, the only cost incurred at this time, is the $100 restoration fee and the cost of a duplicate fee. For others, specifically those who had a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, you have the previously mentioned DMV fees, plus the costs of interlock for at least the next year.
The interlock is a costly device that is installed for around $150 and then there is the monthly monitoring fee that you pay every two months when you have to go in for an interlock checkup.
Will a DWI Affect My Insurance Premiums?
Just when you thought the costs were coming to an end, you find that your insurance premium has increased about 400% and that expense is there to stay for about the next three years. So you see folks, the expense of a DWI conviction is so much more involved than people realize. Taking a cab may seem like an inconvenience at the time, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the end.
Taking a cab may seem like an inconvenience at the time, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the end.
Contact a DWI Lawyer in Raleigh, NC
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