The cost of a DWI includes more than just court costs and a fine and can include attorney fees, lost wages, reinstatement fees and increased insurance premiums.
One of the largest costs incurred due to a DWI is the cost of an experienced DWI attorney. Fees can vary based on the attorney’s experience, the number of DWIs previously charged and the specifics of the case. Attorney fees are charged hourly or as a flat fee to handle the entire case. The actual cost can range from $500.00 to $6,000.00 or higher. Careful research into the attorney’s experience with DWI cases should be done prior to hiring him or her. Choosing an attorney based solely on a fee may cost more in the long run in the form of higher fines, longer license suspensions and failure to obtain driving privileges.
Penalties for a DWI can include a license suspension which can impact the ability to obtain or maintain employment. The amount this will cost is dependent on the length of the suspension imposed and the court’s willingness to grant occupational driving privileges during the suspension. The court will require proof of insurance and proof of employment before considering granting driving privileges.
At the end of any license suspension imposed by the court, the bureau of motor vehicles will require a reinstatement fee to be paid prior to allowing a driver’s license to be reinstated.
A driver will also most likely face higher automobile insurance premiums for years after a DWI is disposed of. In some cases a driver will be unable to purchase insurance and will be required to purchase a bond proving financial responsibility before being permitted to drive again.
Fines and court costs are to be expected with a DWI case. A court may also require someone charged with DWI to attend a driving school or even alcohol/drug assessments and treatment. Those costs will also be the responsibility of the offender.
The exact cost for a DWI is difficult to calculate due to the many variables involved. However, those faced with a DWI can expect to pay attorney fees, have some lost wages, pay a reinstatement fee to the bureau of motor vehicles, pay increased automobile insurance premiums, pay fines and court costs as well as driving courses or treatment all of which could total several thousand dollars. All costs included, it is not uncommon for a DWI to cost anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000.