Financial DWI Penalties can impact you in a big way. DWIs come with a hefty price tag. You might have seen the recent billboards here in New York. One compares the cost of a DWI to the cost of a semester at college. Another reads, “You just blew $10,000.” Despite these shock-and-awe estimates, there is no one set price for a DWI conviction – the cost of a DWI can range significantly, depending on whether the charge is for a first offense, or if other factors complicate the case. The cost doesn’t end with the penalty imposed by a judge, either: you have to account for attorney’s fees, many administrative fees, increases in insurance premiums, and possibly lost income. An experienced attorney can help you anticipate expenses, so you’re better prepared for the road ahead.
Financial DWI Penalties | Legal Fees
The first cost of a DWI charge, after a night in jail, embarrassment, and recovering your car, will be your attorney’s fee. This amount often depends on whether it’s your first offense, whether an accident is involved, and if there are any other complications. Expect your attorney to explain any fees and a billing schedule fully at your first consultation. If an attorney is vague about fees, or declines to answer your questions, choose someone else.
Financial DWI Penalties | Fines
As discussed above, the fines for different DWI charges range significantly. A first-time DWAI fine might be as low as $300. A felony third-offense DWI in New York State might carry a fine as high as $10,000.
Refusal of a chemical (breathalyzer) test carries its own fine in New York State – currently $750.
Don’t go into your trial without some idea of what to expect, given the particulars of your case. Consult with an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible.
Financial DWI Penalties | Insurance Premiums
Insurance premiums are another serious cost of a DWI conviction – how much they might increase depends upon your state. One recent study found that the most dangerous state for DWI insurance increases was South Carolina, where convicted drivers faced hikes of 4.09x. New York drivers convicted of a first DWI faces a relatively lower insurance premium increase of 1.42x.
Your insurance company may even decline to renew your current plan. When that expires, if no other company agrees to insure you, you will enter the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (the “risk pool”) at a significantly higher cost than your previous plan.
Generally, insurance companies determining premiums factor in alcohol-related convictions for 5-10 years after the conviction. Remember that your life insurance premiums may also rise as a result of an alcohol-related driving conviction.
If you are looking for fierce representation to help minimize your financial DWI penalties, please call our Buffalo DWI attorneys today!