Tallying up the total cost of a DUI or DWI in NC
How much does a DWI cost in North Carolina? Unfortunately, fees and costs can quickly pile up, so we need to divide this list into two parts. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the expenses you’ll incur before you even go to trial for a Driving While Impaired charge.
Pre-Trial DWI Fees & Costs
Normally, you won’t need to pay a bail bond if it’s your first DWI offense. However, we felt it was worth adding it to the list because there are some instances where it can happen. Typically, on a first offense you can have a sober person sign you out. But, if you have prior charges or any failures to appear on traffic tickets from the past, you may end up having to post a bond.
You’ll face the possibility of vehicle forfeiture if you get stopped for a DWI while your license is revoked for a prior DWI. This means that the state can seize your car and sell it. There are several ways you can avoid getting a car forfeiture even when it is seized, which we explain in our Vehicle Seizure article.
If you’re pulled over for a DWI, you may be able to pull into a parking space, but you’ll likely stop on the side of the road or the interstate. If you’re stopped on the side of the road or the interstate, the officer will call to have the vehicle towed. You’ll need to pay for towing to a storage facility as well as daily storage fees. If the state determines that your car is subject to possible forfeiture, you’ll face yet another towing fee (as well as storage fees) to a long-term storage facility.
Substance Abuse Assessment – $110
An experienced DWI attorney will recommend that you complete a substance abuse assessment within the first ten days of your arrest if you are looking to obtain a pre-trial limited driving privilege. The cost of this assessment is approximately $110.00, and it may also work as a mitigating factor at sentencing. However, as noted, it is required as part of the Pre-trial limited driving privilege. Learn more about the process of completing an assessment with our DWI Alcohol Assessment blog post.
Substance Abuse Classes – $150 – $3,200
After completing the DWI alcohol assessment, the agency will recommend a program or class based on the results. The length of the class will determine the total cost. If the assessing agency recommends the least number of classes, you will be required to complete an ADETS program at a local counseling agency. ADETS stands for Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School. An ADETS program is the shortest and least expensive of the substance abuse classes. If you blew a .15 or higher on the breathalyzer test, you’ll either get recommended to a 20-hour or 40-hour program. In extreme DWI cases, there are also in-patient programs that can start at $3,200.
Limited Driving Privilege Court Fee – $100 – $104
When you are first charged, the court takes your driver’s license for 30 days if you blow a .08 or refuse the breath test. However, you may petition the court for limited driving privileges or a hardship license after just ten days. You will need to pay a $100 to $104 (depending on which county you were charged in) limited privilege court filing fee, if your petition is granted by the judge. Visit our Hardship License page to learn more about what you need to petition for limited driving privileges after a DWI.
License Restoration Fee – $100
After 30 days, you will be required to pay a $100.00 Civil Revocation Fee to the clerk of court. After paying this restoration fee, your physical license will be returned to you, and you will be able to drive on your regular driver’s license if and until you are convicted. This could be months or a year later, so make certain this is paid. Notably, there are certain situations where your license will not be returned to you after the 30-day civil revocation period, so speak with one of our attorneys to be sure you are eligible.
If you’ve been arrested for DWI, now is not the time to be looking for a bargain. Hiring an experienced DWI lawyer can mean the difference between a result of not guilty or a conviction, as well as more severe punishment. While a decent attorney’s fee can start at $2,500, this pales in comparison to the total cost of a Level A1 DWI sentence which could be as high as $10,000.00. Remember, a good lawyer is not cheap.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
At Dummit Fradin we understand the amount of stress you’re under following a DWI charge. You can rest assured knowing that your initial DWI consultation is free of charge. Contact us today to schedule your free case review. Our experienced attorneys are ready to defend your rights.