The Price Of Reoffending: Unveiling The Financial Burdens Of A 2nd DUI In Texas.
While most are well aware of the major consequences of a 2nd DUI in Texas- including mandatory jail time and a permanent criminal record- the overall cost of a DUI is rarely spelled out until you’re footing the bill. With court-ordered fines and lawyer fees merely scratching the surface of your expenses, understanding the costs of a 2nd DUI can potentially deter drinking and driving and prevent bankruptcy.
Here are just some of the major fees that you can expect to pay when convicted of a 2nd DUI in Texas.
Before you are even arraigned on DUI charges your first expense will come in the form of bail- unless you are willing to stay in jail throughout your trial. Bail for a 2nd DUI charge can easily exceed $5,000 in Texas and will only be reimbursed to the defendant if their charges are dismissed or acquitted.
While an expert lawyer is needed to avoid a DUI conviction and all of its associated costs, with the complexity of 2nd DUI charges and the high likelihood of your case going to trial, lawyer fees can end up exceeding $10,000. While you have the legal right to either represent yourself or be appointed a public defender, without expert representation a reoffense is likely to be met with unfavorable results.
Court Ordered Fines and Fees:
A 2nd DUI charge in Texas is classified as a Class A misdemeanor and carries a potential fine of up to $4,000 on top of up to a year in jail. The judge has full discretion over your fees and can make you pay a full $4,000 or nothing at all depending on the circumstances of your case and additional sentencing.
In addition to the fine that is ordered during sentencing, a defendant will also have to pay for the costs of being arrested, having a case filed against them, and going to court or trial. Depending on what you are charged for, court fees can cost upwards of $1,000.
Administrative License Revocation:
Under the Administrative License Revocation program in Texas, anyone who refuses or fails a breathalyzer test will have their driver’s license automatically revoked within 15 days (unless a hearing is scheduled). If you’ve been charged with a 2nd DUI not only will your license be revoked for a year but you will have to pay a $150 fine (and all other outstanding fines associated with your case) before your license can be reinstated.
Ignition Interlock Device:
An ignition interlock device is required for all 2nd DUI charges and will bring more fees in addition to hassle. Upon parole or probation, an ignition interlock will be installed in all your vehicles for at least a year. This device can cost as much as $150 to install and up to $80 a month to monitor.
With multiple DUI convictions, most insurance companies will consider you an incredible risk to insure and can increase your premium by as much as 93%. Car insurance after a 2nd DUI in Texas can exceed $4,000 a year and can cost even more if the court orders you to get an SR-22.
Known as a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate, if convicted of a 2nd DUI you may be ordered to pay for an SR-22 for two years. An SR-22 acts as proof of coverage after a DUI. This can cost an additional $50 on top of insurance rates and is considered a condition of keeping your license.
If you are granted probation, you will have to pay a monthly supervision fee on top of the cost of alcohol education courses. While supervisory costs only equate to about $60 a month, you may have to pay up to $200 for each education course (of which there are four). With probation anywhere from six months to two years for a 2nd DUI, you can expect to pay at least $1000 in fees.
The Grand Total:
All in all, if you’ve been convicted of a 2nd DUI in Texas you could easily spend upwards of $30,000. At the price of nearly two years of rent in Austin, a 2nd DUI is an investment that you’ll never see the returns on.