Interviewer: What are some of the aspects or factors that people are surprised by the most when it comes to the cost of a DUI or DWI?
Kevin Roach: One of the biggest things that catch people off guard is the insurance cost. That is probably one of the biggest ones would be the insurance costs. People don't realize that most insurance companies will charge you a higher rate for three to five years. Especially if you are under twenty-five, you are already paying a high insurance rates to begin with. If you factor in a DWI and possibly a suspended license, then you are extremely high risk, so you are going to be paying thousands of dollars more every year than you would have otherwise.
People Often Don’t Realize that Loss of Employment May Occur Due to DWI
Another big cost people don't realize is the employment. They could lose their job. If they lose their license, they could lose their job. In certain professions you can't have a DWI conviction on your record. Otherwise you are just not employable, so that is the big one. Someone could get a DWI and they still are trying to work for the next thirty, forty, fifty years and that DWI conviction could be following them around preventing them from advancing in their job or getting a new job. It can have a lot of consequences and people may not always realize it. A lot of times, employer can find records of criminal arrests. Sometimes they’re on a website called CaseNet. An employer could be looking at that and see it and you could get denied for a job and not even realize that it is happening to you. That is another one of the hidden costs that I see a lot.
Client Mistakes & Preventative Measures Regarding DWI Costs
Interviewer: Are there any mistakes that people make that end up making them spend more money? Is there anything that they can do to save money or any preventative things?
Kevin Roach: Yes. One of the things that I see on a regular basis is that I will go to court with a client of mine and the court will order them to pay X amount for court costs and fees. Maybe they don't have enough to pay it on the night of court so the court gives them a month or two to pay. They may not come back. They might forget about the court costs and fines. If you don't show up or make some sort of payment arrangements, they will issue a failure to appear, or an FTA. They will tack on more court costs. Sometimes they will issue a warrant. They have to call my office to get the warrant lifted and then they have to pay additional court costs to the court. I see that on a regular basis. That is one way people make things worse for themselves. Just not being diligent about paying their court costs is just one thing that comes to mind. I can't think of any other off the top of my head.
The Costs Associated With Drug Related DWI Charges
Interviewer: If a DUI involves the use of drugs or illegal substances, do the costs differ?
Kevin Roach: No, a drug-related DUI is very similar to a regular DWI, as far as the costs go. The cases are very, very similar in the way the costs are structured. From a legal standpoint it is handled differently. I treat them differently, but as far as the court costs go, everything is pretty similar to regular DUIs.
Kevin J. roach is a St. Louis DWI defense attorney who has defended thousands of DWI and DUI cases in the St. Louis Metro area. Call us today at (636) 519-0085 or (866) 519-0085 for your Free Consultation!