Interviewer: Do expert witnesses typically cost a lot more?
Kevin Roach: Yes, they do. That is one of the expenses related to going to trial. If you want to bring in an expert to try to dispute the breath results or the blood results, it can get very expensive. You have to weigh all the pros and cons as to whether it's worth it. There are obviously no guarantees if you go to trial. You may be found not guilty, but you may spend ten thousand dollars on a trial or more, and you may still get convicted. There are no guarantees. I explain that to my clients and let them make an educated decision on which way they want to go. Absolutely, experts aren't cheap. In any case that is litigated, you pretty much have to have an expert most of the time. People don't work for free. That is something that definitely has to be discussed up front and factored into the equations on the costs.
The Costs for Repeat DWI Offenses in the State of Missouri
Interviewer: What about second- or third-time DUIs? Do the costs significantly increase for those, Kevin?
Kevin Roach: For first offense DWI charges in St. Louis County and St. Charles County the fees range anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000, depending. The fees are higher on refusal cases because you normally have to file a petition in the circuit court which required substantially more work. On a third offense, there is a big bump in the cost. A third offense in Missouri is a Class D Felony. It always goes to the circuit court so there is more work and harsher consequences. The stakes are higher. A lot of times the prosecuting attorney is asking for jail time. Nobody wants to have a felony on their record, obviously. That can be fatal to somebody's employment. There is a huge difference between a Class B Misdemeanor and a Class D Felony. That can really jeopardize someone's livelihood. The stakes are a lot higher and the attorney's fees are typically substantially higher than they are on the misdemeanor cases.
The Payments Due Immediately Following DWI Charges
Interviewer: What are the fees that have to be paid immediately and in full?
Kevin Roach: The only fee you have to pay immediately is when you are arrested you have to bond out and you have to pay that immediately. As for court cost and fines that are imposed when you go to court, typically they like for you to pay it off on the night of court, but almost every court will allow you some sort of payment plan if you can't pay your court costs all on the night of court. They typically will work with people on that. They will structure it out so it's feasible for people to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time.
The Costs Associated with Donations & Community Service for St. Louis DWI Charges
Interviewer: You mentioned some of these programs, like classes and things like that. Are there any sorts of donations that people would have to make as well, as far as fees go?
Kevin Roach: Sometimes, yes, there are. A lot of municipal courts in the St. Louis area will want you to do community service. You can make a payment to BackStoppers. BackStoppers is a charitable organization for injured law enforcement officers. It is for their families if they are injured in the line of duty. It sets up a fund for their family members. BackStoppers is one that you can make a donation to. There are various other charitable organizations that a lot of times the court will allow you to make a donation to. Usually it's in lieu of community service; that’s the way they do it in a lot of courts.
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!