We have all been educated that drunk driving is wrong and that many people are killed on America’s roadways because of drunk drivers. But, there is a difference between knowing that driving under the influence is wrong and actually preventing yourself from committing a DWI without realizing you are over the .08 limits.
If you are pulled over and charged with DWI, you need to have an aggressive, effective drunk driving lawyer by your side because there are both criminal and administrative costs that you must pay if convicted. However, there are collateral costs as well. This adds to the growing list of hidden costs that result from a DWI charge in Minnesota, costs you may have never heard of.
Collateral Damage Caused by DWI Arrest
Collateral damage is the damage done to your personal life. When you are charged with DWI, you affect not only your future, but also the future of your family. There may also be changes with your job. Those changes can include demotion, a change of departments and unemployment. If your job states that you must have a clean driving record or no criminal record at any point during your employment, a DWI conviction can cause you to lose that job. You may also find that a DWI conviction could cause you to have difficulty finding a new job because many companies will not hire someone with a criminal record. If your job requires driving, you may be fired because your employer’s insurance company may not be willing insure a driver with a DWI on his or her driving record.
You may also find that you have a problem with obtaining or maintaining auto insurance. Auto insurance companies find individuals who have been convicted of DWI to be a higher risk to insure than other drivers. Therefore, an insurance company may drop you when it finds out you got a DWI. Health insurance companies act similarly: they frown upon alcohol use because of the health conditions that it can cause.
Finally, you could have difficulty finding a place to live if you rent. Landlords nowadays will do background checks to make sure their tenants are not going to cause them any trouble or damage the property. You may even find that you can’t enter foreign countries with a criminal record. This is particularly so with regard to Canada, which considers ALL DWIs to be felonies, even though your Minnesota charge may have been a misdemeanor. Canada does not allow any person convicted of a felony, including first-time DWIs in Minnesota, into its country. Whether a DWI will keep you out of a country or not depends on the country involved, the amount of time elapsed since your DWI and other factors.
Administrative Costs From Your DWI
There are administrative costs as well that include:
- Court costs and the cost of electronic home monitoring — usually about $12 per day or over $300 for a mandatory minimum sentence of 28 days EHM for a second offense DWI
- Fines — the maximum fine ranges from $1,000 for a misdemeanor to $3,000 for a gross misdemeanor to $7,000 for a felony DWI
- Any other fees associated with the court, including probation fees, which can be over $200 per year for every year you are on probation.
A criminal cost is the jail time that may need to be served if the sentence is not stayed. If part or all of the jail time is stayed, then probation may be enacted — the individual must remain law abiding or serve the original sentence if the law is broken in any way or the terms of probation are otherwise violated.
There are many prices to be paid and not just the ones that are disclosed to you upfront, such as jail time and a fine. As you can see, the costs go much deeper than just jail and fines, and can have an impact on your future for years to come.
Arrested? We’re Available 24/7
Only a professional and highly skilled DWI defense lawyer can make sure your case is properly addressed and handled efficiently. Our DWI attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest and the arresting officer, interview any important eyewitnesses, handle all court appearances and documents, and guide you through the criminal justice system to your freedom and peace of mind. If you have questions regarding your DWI charges, potential penalties and risks or strategies for defending your rights, call our law office at (952) 913-1421 or use our online contact form. You have rights – we protect them.
Our Minneapolis DWI defense lawyer represents clients charged in criminal matters throughout the Twin Cities metro area and throughout the entire state of Minnesota, including as Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Scott County, Dakota County, Washington County and Sherburne County. We also represent clients throughout Anoka, Andover, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Burnsville, Champlin, Chaska, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Edina, Eden Prairie, Lino Lakes, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Roseville, Woodbury and White Bear Lake.