Prosecution and Defense

The Cost of a DWI Conviction

The Cost of a DWI Conviction

   Cost to Tow Your Car - $150
   Car Storage Fee Per Day - $50
   Minimum Fine - $250
   Safe Neighborhood Fund - $75
   Victim Compensation Fund - $50
   Law Enforcement Assistance Fund - $30
   License Reinstatement Fee - $100

Additional Costs for a DWI Conviction

   Alcohol Education Classes - $100
   Auto Insurance Increase - * varies
   Auto Insurance Surcharge - $3,000


The bottom line is that a DWI conviction is going to cost you a fortune. After the municipal court judge fines you to death, then the MVS will sock you with $3,000 worth of surcharges. Most people go on the installment plan and $83 per month. Surcharges can’t be avoided. Even if you move out of New Jersey, you still have to pay them. The MVS will tell your new state about the surcharges, and you eventually will get your new State’s license revoked if you do not pay your New Jersey surcharges.

This is a table showing the costs of a DWI conviction here in New Jersey. As you can see, the average cost for just pleading out is at least $3,805.00, and this does not include the cost to retain a lawyer. Moreover, in my experience, most convicted DWI driver’s motor vehicle insurance is doubled for at least five years after the conviction. Basically, your car insurance payment becomes your mortgage payment. In addition, you need to seriously keep possible jail time in mind. For a first offense, a driver most likely will not received any jail time. But if you are arrested and convicted for a second DWI offense, then you are looking at mandatory jail time of 48 hours to 90 days.

In simpler terms, in many cases a DWI lawyer can’t beat the case. However, many savvy lawyers can be invaluable to keep you out of the slammer. In summary don’t be cheap, go out and retain a good DWI lawyers. Even if the lawyer can’t beat the case for you, most of them can find a way to keep you out of jail. Jail is a miserable place, and the money that you spend on a DWI lawyer probably will be some of the best money that you have spent in your life.