Discovering the True Cost of a New Hampshire DWI
Hands down, one of the most common questions we hear from new clients is, “How much is this DWI going to cost me?” Ultimately, the amount of money that you spend is going to depend upon quite a few variables. There is one thing that is an absolute certainty: a DWI conviction in New Hampshire is going to be pretty expensive. Today, we’re going to take a close look at a current list of all of the expenses associated with a New Hampshire DWI conviction – with an emphasis on how important it is to be represented by an experienced and skilled NH DWI attorney.
Naturally, the most effective method of avoiding the costs associated with a DWI is to avoid a conviction. The two most obvious methods of doing so are 1) avoiding the use of all alcohol when you know you’ll be operating a motor vehicle in the near future and 2) employing the use of a designated driver. Technically, it is not against New Hampshire state law to drink and drive, but if you choose to do so, you’re definitely opening yourself up to the possibility of arrest and conviction.
First and foremost, if you’ve been arrested for a DWI in our state, your first move should be to hire the services of an experienced NH DWI lawyer. You are significantly going to raise your chances of avoiding a DWI conviction if you hire a DWI attorney based upon their experience, reputation, trial skill set, and personal knowledge. When in absolute doubt, ask a judge, police officer, or another attorney who they would hire if they were in trouble with the law. Secondly, your lawyer should be someone whom you’ll be personally comfortable working closely with.
There is some truth in the adage that you get what you pay for. There are many lawyers in New Hampshire who claim to be adept at defending DWI cases. However, what many of our clients have discovered is that these attorneys charge relatively little money to represent a case, but will then often plead the case out to New Hampshire’s mandatory minimums without investing much in building a successful defense. The right DWI lawyer is someone who focuses the majority of their caseload on the defense of DWI cases, who regularly takes their clients’ cases to trial, and is successful in winning these cases. While you are searching for the right DWI lawyer, ensure that you ask him or her when the last time they won a DWI trial was. With all that is riding on the line, you cannot afford to hire anything less than the best in legal representation. The monetary expense of hiring an experienced NH DWI lawyer is precious little when compared with the costs associated with a DWI conviction.
Based upon info gathered in 2012, here’s a comprehensive list the costs associated with a DWI conviction in New Hampshire:
§ Towing Fees - $150.00
§ Bail Commissioner Fees - $40.00
§ Lab Analyses Fees - $150.00
§ ALS Transcripts - $250.00
§ Miscellaneous Expert Fees - $500.00 to $3,000.00 (for toxicologists, private investigators, etc.)
§ Attorney Fees - $1,500.00 to $8,000.00 (Fees vary according to the lawyer’s history, reputation, and experience level.)
§ Required Court Fines - $620.00 to $1,200.00 (Figures are based upon the current minimum/maximum standards.)
§ ALS Recording Fee - $25.00
§ Ignition Interlock Device - $200.00 to initially have the device installed, plus an additional $75.00 monthly maintenance fee for a minimum of 2 years.
§ SR-22 Insurance - $500.00 to $700.00 (This estimate is for a non-owner, liability policy only, and the insurance must be maintained for a minimum of three years.)
§ Insurance Increases for 5 Years - $5,500.00 (This average figure is for a married individual residing in Coos County who is a homeowner, has a good credit history, and a newer vehicle. Actual rates vary significantly based upon other criteria and the motorist’s insurance history.)
§ IDIP Fee - $585.00 (For a first time offender only)
§ Phase II Fee - $1,550.00 (For an aggravated or second time offender)
§ 28 Day Residential Treatment Program - $4,935.00 (For third or subsequent convictions)
§ Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee - $100.00
For the average New Hampshire citizen, the overall expected financial costs of a DWI conviction in our state will range from approximately $10,000.00 to upwards of $18,000.00. What you should bear in mind is that this is an approximate estimate. It doesn’t include additional figures for income lost from missed work, the need to pay for alternative transportation and rides, or the loss of employer benefits or automobiles. Moreover, the increase in insurance costs is going too considerably from one person to the next based upon their personal prior history and other risk factors that are calculated by insurance providers.
Other sources have estimated that the cost of a New Hampshire DWI conviction could reach as high as $20,000.00.
It’s not difficult to see that a DWI conviction is a serious and expensive business. If you have been charged with a DWI in the state of New Hampshire, then it is imperative that you immediately retain the services of experienced and qualified legal counsel to avoid a DWI conviction altogether. This is where our NH DWI lawyers can step in to offer their assistance. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, please contact our law firm today.