Facing a DWI can seem daunting. You may worry about the arrest, charges, and legal defense. Another worry that plagues many individuals and families is how they will afford the cost of an experienced DWI lawyer.
How an Austin DWI Lawyer Can Help
Time is of the essence when you are dealing with DWI charges. While the experience may be overwhelming and embarrassing, you mustn’t let your emotions get in the way of adequately addressing the situation.
While the consequences for a DWI conviction depend on whether this is your first DWI incident or not, the timeline in which you must complete specific steps remains the same. You must file your request for an ALR hearing within 14 days of your arrest if you want to have a chance of retaining your driving privileges. There is no time to waste; the cost of having an experienced DWI lawyer on your side is typically significantly less expensive than if you go up against the charges without legal counsel.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a DWI Lawyer?
While each lawyer has their own pricing guidelines, a standard DWI case that is uncomplicated and doesn’t require a trial typically costs between $1,000 and $5,000 in legal defense fees. The costs can quickly climb upwards of $10,000 if the case goes to trial before a judge. Many factors influence the overall cost of hiring a DWI lawyer. Some of these determinants are the background and expertise of the attorney and the complexity of your case. A more complex court case typically will involve more work for the attorney, which means a higher cost.
If you have been arrested…
Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.
What Other Costs are Associated with a DWI Charge?
The cost of hiring a DWI attorney may seem like a lot of money; however, it is often cheaper than attempting to go against the charges alone.
Bail will likely be one of the first financial burdens you have to deal with following a DWI arrest. The exact cost of the bail you will have to pay will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your DWI. Bail is a source of collateral assuring that you will return on your court date. If you don’t post bail, then you will spend a more extended amount of time in police custody behind bars. Some factors that influence bail price include any previous convictions (DWI or other), compliance with police requests and testing participation, the presence of minor passengers, assault, or manslaughter. A first-time DWI charge for a non-complex case is often associated with a bail amount between $200 and $1,000. If any complicating factors apply to your case, the bail rate may be significantly more expensive.
If you are convicted of a DWI charge, you will be responsible for paying court fees associated with your arraignment and trial. These costs are typically between $200 and $1,500.
In Texas, DWI fines vary depending on the number of previous DWI convictions. A first DWI conviction typically incurs a maximum fine of $2,000. The financial penalty for a first-time conviction may be higher if the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is greater than 0.15 or any additional complexities. A second offense is often associated with a fine of up to $4,000. A third DWI conviction faces a maximum fine of $10,000. If the DWI situation involved an assault or fatality, the penalty may be a maximum of $10,000.
Driver’s License Surcharge
Most DWI convictions result in the suspension of driving privileges. To get your license reinstated, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee and driver’s license surcharge. A driver’s license surcharge is another cost frequently associated with Texas DWI. Similar to court fines, the surcharge price increases with each consecutive DWI conviction. A first-time DWI conviction will result in an annual fee of $1,000. A second DWI will result in a yearly fee of $1,500. A third DWI conviction (or complex DWI case) will result in an annual license surcharge of $2,000. Driver’s license surcharges must be paid annually for three years to maintain license reinstatement.
Additional DWI Costs
Your motor vehicle insurance premium will likely increase, and you will be required to show proof of insurance before license reinstatement. Texas law requires that drivers convicted of DWI have motor vehicle insurance policies that must meet specific requirements, including carrying $25,000 coverage for property damage, $30,000 coverage for a single injury or death, and $60,000 coverage for injuries or deaths of multiple people. In addition to the increased insurance premiums and specific liability requirements, you will also be required to obtain an SR-22 form before the reinstatement of your driving privileges. It may also be necessary to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle before reinstatement. IID’s frequently cost $70 to $1000 monthly.
If your vehicle is impounded due to the DWI arrest, you will be responsible for paying the incurred impound and towing fees. Towing costs vary from $250 to $450. Initial impound fees are typically around $20 and may increase by $5 to $20 for each day the vehicle is at the impound lot.
Following a DWI conviction, you may also be responsible for paying monthly probation fees of $60 to $100. You may also be required to attend an Alcohol Education Program or DWI Intervention Program. These courses typically cost $70 and $185, respectively.
It’s important to know that other costs may be associated with a DWI conviction beyond the fees listed here. These costs are not all-encompassing and do not account for lost wages, tarnished reputation, and difficulty getting hired in the future.
The best thing you can do to reduce the overall financial burden and fight against the DWI charges is to enlist the help of a proven Austin DWI lawyer. If you are concerned about the financial burden of hiring a DWI defense attorney, rest assured that it is often possible to utilize a payment plan. Stephen T Bowling is an experienced DWI attorney who can increase your chances of successfully fighting against the DWI charges, saving your money, and preserving your freedom.
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KEPT US UP TO DATE EACH STEP OF THE WAY
Stephen Bowling, reviewed our case and discussed his recommendations clearly. He kept us up to date each step of the way with continued explanations. He was readily available for questions/concerns through the process. We would reach out to them again in the future for any legal concerns.
VERY COMMUNICATIVE AND VERY UNDERSTANDING
Stephen is Great, Great , Lawyer!! He give you weekly updates on not just your case but also on what’s going on with his firm as well!!! Stephen is also very communicative and very understanding on any situation!! I would hands down Refer Stephen to anyone with any situation!!! Great job Stephen words can’t describe what you have done for me!!!!