The Cost of a DWI in New Hampshire
I am frequently asked “how much will a DWI cost me?” The ultimate expenditure depends upon many variables. One thing is certain: a DWI conviction will be very expensive. This article will provide an analysis of the current costs associated with a DWI conviction in the State of New Hampshire, while emphasizing the importance of retaining qualified counsel.
The most effective way to avert the expense of a DWI is to avoid a conviction. Two obvious ways to do so are to abstain from all use of drugs and/or alcohol when operating a vehicle or to use a designated driver. While it is not against the law to drink and drive in New Hampshire, doing so will certainly expose you to the possibility of an arrest and conviction.
If you have been arrested, you should immediately seek out a qualified DWI attorney. Hiring the best DWI lawyer based on reputation, experience, trial skill and knowledge will increase the likelihood of avoiding a conviction. I routinely get referrals from other lawyers, police officers and judges. You should ask professionals in the field who they would hire if they were in trouble.
Do you get what you pay for? There are many lawyers who claim to defend DWI cases. Often times, you will find that these lawyers charge very little to represent you and frequently plead a case out to mandatory minimums. A lawyer that focuses much of their caseload on DWI defense is regularly going to trial on behalf of clients and is successful in winning those cases. During your search for a qualified defense attorney, it is imperative that you ask him or her when they last won a DWI trial. The expense of a true DWI lawyer pales in comparison to the cost of a DWI conviction. You cannot afford to hire anyone but the best.
The list below represents the expenses associated with a DWI based on information gathered in 2012.
Towing Fee $150
Bail Commissioner Fee $40
Lab analysis $150
ALS Transcript $250
Expert Fees $500-$3,000 (Private Investigator, Toxicologist, etc.)
Lawyer fees $1,500-$7,500 (varies based on reputation, experience and history)
Court fine $620-$1,200 (mandatory minimum to maximum)
ALS Recording $25
Ignition interlock $200 initial setup / $75 monthly fee for 2 years
SR-22 $500-$700 required for three years (liability only, non owner policy)
Insurance increase for 5 years $5,500 (based on a married person, good credit history, newer vehicle, home owner, in Coos County, rates vary considerably based on insurance history and criteria)
IDIP fee $585 (first time offender class)
Phase II $1,550 (second or Aggravated offender class)
28 Residential Treatment $4,935 (third offender class)
License reinstatement $100
The total expected financial cost of a DWI for a person located in Coos County, New Hampshire ranges between $10,000 to $18,000.00. This estimate does not include any lost income from missed work opportunities, the need to pay for rides or transportation, and the loss of company vehicles or benefits. Additionally, the increased cost of insurance will vary incredibly from one person to another based on prior history and projected risk factors calculated by insurance companies.
Other sources, not specific to New Hampshire, estimate the cost of a DWI to be between $9,000 and $20,000 (see links: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/dui-memorial-day-20-000-1.aspx#ixzz1mNpkU6G5 and http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/InTheNews/DrinkingAndDriving/1077646292.html).
The cost of a DWI conviction is very serious. If you have been charged with a DWI it is important that you immediately consult with a DWI lawyer who has the experience, skills and ability to help win your case.
This article was submitted by Leonard D. Harden of Harden Law Offices.
Lancaster, NH 788-2080 ● Littleton, NH 444-2084 ● Lebanon 448-3737