If you're facing a DWI charge in Texas, you're undoubtedly worried about what will happen and how much it will cost you. Texas does take driving while intoxicated seriously. As a result, court-imposed fines and fees, as well as mandatory administrative fees imposed by the state of Texas, can be consequential. You may also need to add additional fees for an interlock device for your car, impound fees for your car, and more. That's why it's a good idea to consult an attorney who is an expert in DWI defense as soon as possible.
Court Imposed Fines
For a DWI conviction, you can face court-imposed fines on top of any possible jail time or license suspension. Texas increased the fines for DWI convictions and the enforcement in these fines varies greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction
- First DWI: For a first DWI conviction, you can face up to $3,000 in court-imposed fines, as well as three to 180 days in jail and up to a two-year license suspension.
- Second DWI: For a second DWI conviction, the court can impose up to $4,000 in fines and 30 days to one year in jail.
- Third or Subsequent DWI: A third DWI in Texas is a felony, and you can face up to $10,000 in fines and prison for two to ten years.
- Aggravated DWI Charges: Offenses like intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, or a DWI with a child in the car can result in felony charges with up to $20,000 in fines, and two to twenty years in prison, depending on the offense.
You'll also need to pay court costs, possible probation fees of up to $100 a month, and restitution for any damaged property or injuries to others. These costs can be high.
As part of your sentence, the court will often require installing an interlock ignition device on your car. These devices prevent you from operating your car if you've been drinking. Installation can cost several hundred dollars, and you'll often need to pay up to $100 a month as long as you have the device on your car. The court may also require you to attend alcohol-awareness education classes, which you must pay for.
In addition to fines that the court may impose while adjudicating your case, you'll also face mandatory administrative fines from the state of Texas. For a first DWI in 36 months, you'll need to pay a mandatory $3,000 fine. For a second or subsequent DWI in 36 months, the fine increases to $4,500. If your BAC is over .15% for a first or subsequent DWI, the fine is $6,000. Again, the enforcement of these fines varies in each jurisdiction.
Hire an Expert in Texas DWI Defense
If you're facing a DWI charge, it can be an expensive proposition. Between court fees, court-imposed fines, ignition lock fees, and mandatory Texas administrative fines, DWI fines can far exceed the cost of an experienced DWI lawyer. A first DWI can result in fines and fees well in excess of $5,500. You shouldn't try to navigate a DWI prosecution on your own.
Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in both DWI defense and criminal law. He is one of only two Texas attorneys Board Certified in DWI Defense Law and Criminal Defense Law. Moreover, U.S. News and World Report recently named Doug Murphy one of the Best Lawyers in America for DWI defense in Houston for 2021. The Doug Murphy Law Firm also has a team of former prosecutors, so they understand how to negotiate and defend your DWI. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm today at 713-229-8333 or contact them online
to schedule your consultation.