Financial Cost Comes with DWI Conviction
This is the second in a two-part series about the ways that a driving while intoxicated conviction can harm you beyond legal penalties, such as prison time. The last post focused on how a DWI on your criminal record can affect your ability to obtain or retain employment. There are other ways that a DWI conviction can take money out of your wallet, both directly and indirectly.
It should come as no surprise that your auto insurance expenses will increase after a DWI conviction. Drivers with a DWI conviction can have difficulty finding:
- A reputable insurer who will cover them;
- The same level of coverage as before their conviction; and
- Affordable insurance premiums.
Even if you did not wreck your car during your DWI, insurance companies will view you as a high-risk client due to what they perceive to be your poor judgment in driving drunk. An insurer is responsible for paying for property damage and personal injury expenses when its client is at fault, and DWI offenders are almost always at fault for their accidents. It may take years of safe driving for an insurance company to trust you as a client.
A DWI conviction will not appear on your credit report, but the costs associated with the conviction may put you in debt. The process of being charged with and convicted for DWI can include many expenses, such as:
- Legal fees for your case;
- The cost of posting bail after your arrest;
- The fine issued upon your conviction;
- Damages owed in a possible civil lawsuit;
- Fees to attend mandatory alcohol education classes;
- Fees associated with reinstating your driver’s license; and
- The cost of having an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
The total expense of a first-time conviction can easily exceed $10,000. If you are having trouble finding employment due to your DWI conviction, you may lack the income to pay these expenses.
It is possible that having a DWI conviction will discourage a lender from giving you a major loan. The lender is concerned about your ability to repay the loan, and a DWI conviction may hurt your earning capacity. However, the lender is unlikely to know of your previous conviction unless you disclose it. Background checks for loans look at your credit history, not your criminal history, and the lender may be concerned about only finance-related crimes. If the lender does learn about your DWI conviction, it may consider the risk of a future conviction when deciding whether to issue the loan.
True Price of DWI
A DWI conviction can cost you personally in ways that you would not expect. A San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock will work to prevent your conviction or reduce the penalties. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-726-5625.