Drinking and driving is a crime, and as such, getting accused of it may lead to serious problems in your life. Not only could you face civil and criminal penalties, you could also face problems with schooling, at work or socially.

A DWI charge may be disruptive for many reasons. Here are five that could influence you as you decide how to defend yourself against the charges.

  1. The social stigma

A DWI doesn’t come without the social stigma of an arrest and conviction. Drinking and driving is one offense that most people do look down on because it puts many people at risk of injury or death. Socially, you may notice that people are disappointed or become unfriendly with you as they put space between your situation and their own.

  1. The effect on federal aid

If you attend school and get a DWI, you could lose your right to federal student aid. This is more likely when you face a felony DWI offense, but it still needs to be considered.

  1. The effect on your work

If you run your own business, you may find that people no longer want to do business with you after an arrest for a DWI or if you are convicted of a DWI. If you work for someone else, you could be fired for getting arrested or for a conviction. If you lose your license, then you may no longer be able to do your job or get to work on time.

  1. The fees and fines

The fees and fines associated with a DWI add up. The cost of DWIs vary by state, but the average cost of a DWI conviction will range anywhere from $9,000 to $24,000 once you consider the increased cost of car insurance, court fees, attorney’s fees, penalties and fines issued following a conviction (if convicted), alcohol rehabilitation (if ordered) and other factors.

These are all issues that may arise if you’re accused of a DWI or are convicted. It’s worth taking the time to put together a strong defense, so you can keep your reputation untarnished and protect yourself from these complications of a DWI.