Driving while impaired, or commonly known as a DWI, is the act of driving a motor vehicle with a blood level of alcohol exceeding the legal limit. Measure of the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, is used to see if it exceeds the threshold that defines the offense. In many states, the Blood Alcohol Content legal limit is 0.10%. However, there are states who have adopted a lower limit of 0.08%. If the driver is cited for driving at or above this BAC limit, the individual will get into a lot of legal and financial trouble. The effects of a DWI are very stressful and costly, and can be avoided simply by taking a cab or getting a ride. If you are charged with a DWI, it is important to understand the legal costs to be defended.
DWI cases are severe, and would be best if it is represented professionally. Having an attorney typically leads to having your case being properly defended. Legal representation is costly, especially when it is for a DWI case. The cost for legal representation, depending on the complexity and severity of the DWI, can fall anywhere between $2,000 and $25,000.
However, the cost does not stop there. In some rigorous cases, hiring an investigator to examine the arrest scene and the arresting police officer’s story is necessary to improve your defense. These investigators can add an extra $1,000 to $3,000. If your case still needs extra defense, expert witnesses can be utilized to testify about the accuracy of field sobriety tests. Having the need for these witnesses can cost you $3,000 and up.
For a trial for a first-offense case, attorney fees can vary from $2,000 to $3,000. Depending on the lawyer, the fee can be about $7,500 or up. This price depends strongly on where you live, along with the type of case you have.
Costs to defend your DWI case come with a varied, but a high price tag. Unfortunately, there is no set price, because you also have to consider additional costs. This includes bail, towing, fines, and insurance, considering you did not hurt anyone or get into an accident. There are further losses when being charged with a DWI and having this on your criminal record. You can lose school opportunities and employment opportunities, along with gaining extra stress and pressure. Being charged with a DWI is extremely expensive in numerous ways and is considered “the $10,000 ride home.”
Pranjali works for the University Archives at North Carolina State University. She volunteers at Occupational Therapist offices in Charlotte and Raleigh. Pranjali is in the University Scholar’s Program and a member of Psi Chi Honor Fraternity. She is a co-captain of an Indian folk-dance team at NC State.
While she is not busy applying for graduate school, she enjoys working out, traveling, and listening to music. Her interests include fashion, all things French, and spending time with friends and family.
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