If you’ve been accused of driving while intoxicated while in the state of Minnesota, you may find yourself worrying about the cost of hiring a lawyer. How expensive will it be? The cost to hire your lawyer will vary based on a range of factors, but the real question you should be asking is, can you afford not to hire one?
The Cost of a DWI Conviction
If you’re convicted of a DWI, you may face serious consequences very quickly. Not only do you have the potential to face jail time (up to 93 days for a first offense or, if you’re on your third offense, as much as five years) and fines ($100-$500 for a first offense; as much as $5,000 for a third offense), the cost of collateral consequences may add up fast.
Losing your license. For a first offense, you can lose your license for up to 30 days, with restricted driving privileges for 150 days following the reinstatement of your license. If you’re on your third offense, depending on the severity of the case, you may have your license suspended even longer–or you may lose it altogether. Not only will you have to pay to have your license reinstated, you’ll have to deal with several problems.
- You still need to be able to get to work. This may mean paying for public transportation or arranging for someone else to take you until you get your license back.
- You won’t be able to “just run out” to get anything.
- Transporting kids, whether to and from school or to their hobbies and events, becomes increasingly difficult.
Your insurance will increase. Most insurance companies will keep your rates the same until you reach the end of your current policy. After that, your rates may increase substantially following a DWI conviction. Not only that, some insurance companies may drop you altogether, especially if you have multiple convictions on your record.
In some cases, you may not be able to keep your job. Some jobs will automatically fire you for a DWI charge, especially if your job involves driving for the company in any form. In other cases, you may keep your existing job, but a DWI can keep you out of the running if you attempt to apply for other jobs in the future. Some jobs which require security clearances will not hire you with even a DWI on your record, while many jobs that involve driving look for drivers with clean records.
Interlock devices are costly. In some cases, the judge may allow you to keep your license, but require you to install an interlock device on your car. These devices, which measure the alcohol in your blood before you can start the car, can be extremely costly.
Factors That Impact the Cost of an Attorney
Your DWI case is unique. A variety of factors can impact your cost, including:
Are you able to accept a plea, or do you need to go to court? If you need to go to court to contest your DWI charges, your costs may be higher than if you can settle out of court with a plea bargain.
Are there extenuating circumstances in your case? Will your attorney need to spend time gathering witness statements and reviewing evidence? If so, it may be more expensive.
You can’t afford to simply accept the consequences of a DWI. If you’ve been accused of driving while intoxicated in Minnesota, you need an attorney who will help you decide your next move. Contact us today to schedule your consultation or to learn how we can help protect your freedoms and your finances.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.