This series is looking into the hidden costs of a DWI arrest in the Plano or Denton County Texas area. The previous blogs discussed hiring an attorney, posting bail or bond, paying for medical bills, and challenging a driver’s license suspension or revocation determination. This next blog will explore paying your car note and auto insurance premiums, defending against civil forfeiture proceedings, and paying court costs, fees, and fines.
Financial Consequence No. 5: Paying Your Car Note and Auto Insurance Premiums
Texas law requires drivers to pay for the accidents they cause. Most drivers meet that responsibility with automobile insurance. Many car finance companies also require automobile insurance on vehicles with loans or car notes. If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked, you will be expected to continue paying your car note and car insurance, even if you are unable to use your car. You will also have transportation costs for a taxis, Ubers, or bus fare to help you get around town. Also, expect during your auto insurance policy renewal period for your premiums to be increased.
Financial Consequence No. 6: Defending Against Civil Forfeiture Actions
Texas has some of the toughest civil forfeiture action laws in the country. Simply explained, the State, through the District Attorney’s Office, has the right to seize your property, sell it, and keep the proceeds of your property if it was used in the commission of a crime. In the context of a DWI arrest, this means that your car gets seized and sold because it was used to drive while intoxicated. Many times ownership of the vehicle is irrelevant. So, if you borrow your mother’s car and are arrested for DWI, the State may seize her car, sell it, and pocket the proceeds, leaving your mother with little redress options. This is the second civil administrative proceeding you will need to hire an attorney for or risk losing a necessary and valuable asset.
Financial Consequence No. 7: Paying Court Costs, Fees, and Fines
Whether you plead guilty to DWI or go to trial and are found guilty by a jury, a conviction for DWI triggers mandatory statutory court costs, fees, and fines. Many of these costs must be paid prior to or on the same day you are sentenced. In addition, if you caused extensive damage to property or a person, you may be required to pay restitution or pay back the injured person or property before disposition of your case or during your probation period.
As you can see, the costs associated with your DWI arrest quickly add up. The fourth and final installment of this series will examine issues like losing your job and post-conviction matters related to your DWI arrest like paying post-conviction fees, and complying with the terms of your sentence, like attending programs, probation, installing an automobile ignition interlock system, and expunction of your criminal record.
At the Law Office of Kimberly Griffin Tucker, P.C., we represent people accused of DWI in the Plano and Denton areas of Texas. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, contact us for a case evaluation. We will provide you with a comprehensive look at your case, what you can expect, and what steps are available to resolve your DWI arrest.