Most people aren’t aware of the costs involved in a DWI or DUI conviction, even though New Jersey is notoriously tough on impaired drivers. Some believe that it will be less expensive to pay the costs than hire a lawyer and actively fight the charges.
Before you decide not to fight, take a look at the high costs involved in a conviction.
How Much Will A DUI Or DWI Really Cost Me?
The following are just some of the estimated costs involved:
- $100 for car towing
- $30 per day for car storage after impoundment
- $250 minimum fine
- $75 for the Safe Neighborhood Fund
- $30 for the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund
- $50 Victim Compensation Fund
- $200 to reinstate your driver’s license
- $100 to install an ignition interlock device in your car
- $50-$100 monthly fee for the ignition interlock device
- $3,000 MVC surcharge
- $3,000 or more insurance company surcharge
- $100 Intoxicated Driver Resource Center classes
All told, that’s a minimum of $7,385. But our estimates are fairly conservative, so final costs may be higher.
You can find a comprehensive overview of penalties, including a breakdown of first, second, and third offenses, here.
But Won’t It Be Cheaper Than Hiring A Lawyer?
If you believe that entering a guilty plea will be cheaper in the long run than hiring an attorney and fighting the charge, think again.
In addition to monetary concerns, pleading guilty to a DWI charge in New Jersey carries the possibility of spending time in jail. While a first offense will not usually result in a jail sentence, a second offense requires a jail stay of 48 hours minimum and as many as 90 days in jail.
In addition to possible jail time, a conviction entails alcohol and drug education training, too. In short, you won’t just be losing money, you’ll lose valuable time as well.
How Can An Attorney Help?
On the other hand, if you hire an attorney and successfully fight the charge, you may avoid having a conviction on your record and also avoid any increases or surcharges assessed by your insurance company as a result of the DWI.
Without the help of an attorney, you could have the conviction on your driving record permanently.
Contact New Jersey’s DWI & DUI Defense Lawyers
Beating a charge is possible. Hiring a qualified attorney can save you significant money and aggravation in the future.
If you have been arrested for DWI and are still not sure whether to fight the charge or to plead guilty and accept the consequences, give the attorneys at Levow DWI Law a call to discuss your options.