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Cost of a DWI

Driving while intoxicated offenses carry with them more than just possible jail time. Along with probation, fine and bail, the total cost of a DWI can rack up to $15,000.

In this article, we’ll examine the full cost of a first-time DWI in Texas.

Austin DWI Attorney

DWI convictions can be extremely expensive. And while legal representation isn’t cheap, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. From fighting final convictions to negotiating reduced penalties, an experienced DWI lawyer is an invaluable asset to have in court.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is experienced at providing assistance representing first-time and repeat DWI clients.

When representing you, Kevin Bennett believes in being completely transparent so that you are aware of each and every detail surrounding your case. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to set up your free consultation with an experienced DUI lawyer in Austin.

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Breaking Down the Cost of a DWI

The total cost of your DWI will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you have multiple convictions, caused property damage or injured a person, then the cost of your DWI is likely to increase substantially.

Lawyer Fees

The cost of a lawyer varies wildly, and is also dependent on whether you go to trial. In general, a lawyer that charges by the hour will cost roughly $5,000 for pretrial plea bargains or diversion cases, and upwards of $10,000 if the case goes to trial.

Any additional complexity in the case will likely result in higher fees for your lawyer.

Court Fees

If convicted or found guilty via a plea bargain, the cost of appearing in court is generally between $200 and $1,500. This is simply the cost of appearing in court.

Court Fines

First-time DWI convictions carry a fine of up to $2,000. This number varies based on the conditions of the arrest, and will likely be lower if a plea bargain is reached.

Second and third-time DWI convictions can carry fines of up to $4,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Probation Fees

If you’ve been placed on probation as a result of a pretrial diversion program or a plea bargain, then you’ll have to pay a monthly fee for the privilege. These fees can range from $60 to $100 a month for as long as 6 to 12 months. This is a total cost of $360 to $1,200.

Alcohol Education Program

One condition of a plea agreement is often to attend an alcohol education program. The course can cost anywhere from $50 to $100.

Alcohol Monitoring

Alcohol monitoring devices such as a portable alcohol monitoring device or an ignition interlock device are typical as a part of a plea agreement. The former requires the user to breath into the device once or twice a day to make sure they aren’t drinking alcohol while the latter requires a breathalyzer test to start the car.

Both devices generally cost around $70 to $100 per month for the probation term.


The cost of bail varies depending on the amount of DWI convictions and the circumstances of the case. Generally, however, the cost of bail will not exceed $1,000 or dip below $200.

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Car Insurance

Aside from general increases to your insurance plan, you may be required to purchase what is known as “minimum liability coverage.” If you are convicted of a DWI, you will be required to purchase the following minimum insurance plans:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death of a single person in a car accident
  • $60,000 for bodily injury or death of more than one person in a car accident
  • $25,000 for property damage in a car accident

This is in addition to any increased premiums from your insurance provider, which can be as much as a 87% increase.

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Impound Fees

Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, the state may require your vehicle to be towed to an impound lot. After all, you’re not allowed to drive while intoxicated. If you do not have a person nearby that can assume control of your vehicle, then you will have to pay towing and storage fees for your vehicle.

Towing fees typically call around $200 to $500, but impound fees vary wildly from region to region. They can be as low as $20 and as high as $80 a day.

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Summary Costs

Putting it all together, a first-time DWI defendant can expect to spend roughly $7,000 to $15,000 depending on how complex the case is and whether or not the defendant goes to trial.

This does not account for an overall rise in insurance premiums which can be difficult to quantify and will vary based on the individual. Nor does this estimation account for any damages that you may be required to pay as a result of your DWI conviction.

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If It’s So Expensive, Why Should I Fight a DWI?

Fighting a DWI, or hiring legal representation to mitigate the penalties of a DWI, enables you to stay in the workforce and will likely result in lower financial penalty than not doing so. If you are convicted of a DWI, you may find yourself in jail for 30-180 days. This will certainly cost your job, which will make dealing with the financial repercussions of the DWI conviction much more difficult.

Additionally, a good DWI lawyer may be able to secure a pretrial diversion program, making it possible to expunge the conviction once your probationary period is up. This will help in the future with employment, loans, insurance and housing.

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Hire a DWI Lawyer in Travis County, Texas

Contact Kevin Bennett today to discuss the circumstances surrounding your DUI charges in Travis County, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway and the surrounding areas. As a qualified criminal defense attorney, Kevin Bennett will thoroughly review the facts surrounding your case, and use his knowledge of Texas DWI law and criminal legal procedure to weaken the prosecution’s case.

Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 if you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Your initial consultation is free, and it will begin the process of defending your freedom and protecting your driving privileges. Don’t wait another moment to speak to an experienced DWI Austin attorney as soon as possible to protect your future.

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