The collateral consequences (Hidden Costs) of a DWI conviction

Most everyone assumes that if you're convicted of Driving while intoxicated, there are going to fines, and probably costs. Most people have no idea about the other costs of a conviction. Some are financial costs, while others are harder to quantify. Most of these are not specific to Waco and McLennan County but exist everywhere. You want to know what to expect going in. Dealing with a criminal conviction is bad enough without being surprised or blindsided by something you had no idea was coming.

So here's the best list of costs I can come up with. Most are specific to DWI cases, but some exist no matter what the charge. Not all of these may be part of every case; this is simply a list of all the possible costs (and programs) that CAN be imposed in a case.

  • Suspension of driver's license
  • Restriction on use of the license to go to and from (think about going to go out to eat, or to the store)
  • Loss of Commercial Driver's License
  • Cost of special insurance (SR-22) while license is suspended
  • Increase in insurance premiums
  • Installation of Ignition interlock device
  • Participation in DWI offender program
  • Participation in Victim Impact panel
  • Supervision fees
  • Fines
  • Electronic monitoring (if a requirement to avoid jail)
  • Participation in community service programs
  • Participation in treatment programs
  • Abstaining from alcohol while on probation
  • Drug and Alcohol testing fees
  • Reimbursement of costs for analyzing samples
  • Legal fees, or repaying court-appointed fees
  • The strain on marriage and relationship with friends and family
  • Denial of employment, loss of job or denial of promotion
  • Revocation or suspension of professional or occupational licenses
  • Suspension from school, delay in graduation, or interruption of student grants or loans
  • Depression
  • Health problems caused by or worsened by stress
  • Loss of sleep and anxiety
  • Modification of child custody orders
  • Restriction or inability to obtain special permits, licenses or benefits that require a finding of good moral character
  • Decline in productivity at work, or loss of income while away for court appearances and meeting with an attorney
  • Restrictions on travel and entry into some countries
  • Delay in obtaining citizenship
  • Embarrassment and loss of reputation

If you can think of others, let me know and I'll be happy to add them.

Hopefully, this convinces you that a DWI charge is serious, and not something you should take lightly. If you want more information, get a FREE copy of our DWI Survival Guide.

If you've been arrested, and are looking for a lawyer in Waco, McLennan, Bell, Hill, Bosque or Falls county, and want to talk with us about handling your case, give us a call at (254)-296-0020.

Or if you're convinced we are the right lawyer for you and are ready to move forward, check out "No Hassle Hiring Process", and do everything without leaving your home or office.

Walter Reaves
Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.