DWI Legal Fees

If you’ve been charged with a DWI, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the potential penalties you’re facing. The DWI legal fees can be something that is a worry on your mind. Here is what you need to know.

DWI Legal Fees | How much will I have to pay in 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.

DWI Legal Fees | How much will I have to pay in 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.

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DWI Legal Fees | Will my insurance premiums go up?

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.

DWI Legal Fees | What other fees might I have to pay?

There are many “hidden” fees associated with DWI in New York State. After you’ve paid your court-mandated fine, you may have to pay for a conditional license, and then, later, for the termination of your license suspension. The judge may mandate an alcohol evaluation from a licensed psychologist, and this could lead to a recommendation for substance abuse counseling, which will require at least two urine tests. You may have to attend a Victim Impact Panel, or an approved New York State Drinking Drivers Program. All of these carry fees, ranging from $25 to $225 – they add up quickly. An experienced DWI attorney can help you plot these out in your first consultation.

If you have been arrested or charged with DWI or an alcohol related charge in New York it is important to hire an experienced lawyer.  Contact Buffalo DWI attorney Robert Friedman  for complete defense.

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