After DWI charges, you will often find yourself faced with a number of challenges–and hiring a lawyer is likely at the top of your list. If funds are tight, unfortunately, you may worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. How much will it actually cost to hire a DWI lawyer in Minnesota? Your fees may vary based on the severity of your infraction, the wait to get to court, and how much evidence is needed to help fight your DWI charges as well as a variety of other factors. What you should really be asking, however, is, “Can I afford not to hire a DWI lawyer?”
The Cost of DWI
Driving while intoxicated carries heavy penalties in Minnesota. Even if it’s your first offense–and certainly if it’s a second or later offense–you may face substantial penalties. Consider:
Jail time. If you spend time in jail for a DWI, it could change the course of your life. Your employer will find out about the jail time, and you could lose your job. This is particularly true if you drive for a living or deal with sensitive information. Not only that, while you’re in jail, you cannot earn money to support yourself or your family, which could cause substantial problems down the road.
Fines and fees. For a first-time DWI, you may face up to $1,000 in fines–or, if your BAC was higher or your caused an accident with serious injuries, it could be higher. Subsequent charges have increased fines.
Increased insurance. Once you’ve been charged with a DWI, many insurance companies will immediately raise your rates–and those rates could stay high for years following the charge. Worse, in some cases–especially if you have multiple DWI’s–you may struggle to get auto insurance at all. After multiple DWIs, auto insurance may become one of the most expensive items on your monthly budget.
Engine interlock devices. In addition to your other fines and fees, the court may require you to have an engine interlock device installed on your vehicle. This device acts as a personal breathalyzer and will not allow you to start your vehicle unless your BAC is under the legal limit. These devices may need to be installed on any vehicle you operate immediately after a DWI, and renting and installing them can add significant expense to your DWI.
Losing your license. Losing your license seems, at first, low on the list of expenses that go along with a DWI–and then you realize just how much you drive. You may need to transport your children to and from school, take care of transporting yourself to and from work, and somehow get to any court-mandated appearances, including meetings with a probation officer and community service associated with your DWI. Without a license, you must either find someone to transport you or pay for transportation–and those expenses can add up fast.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Lawyers are often expensive, but they can prove less expensive than trying to handle your DWI case on your own or with a public defender and ending up with the maximum penalties. A lawyer can:
- Fight in court to help reduce the penalties associated with your DWI
- Protect your freedoms
- Protect your finances as much as possible after a DWI
- Work with you to get a limited license that will allow you to drive to work or school, transport your children, and attend court-mandated meetings and events, freeing you to take care of your own transportation instead of relying on public transport options
Do you need an attorney who will fight for you, doing their best to minimize the consequences of a DWI? If so, contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help protect you in the aftermath of a DWI.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.