How Much Does a DWI Conviction Cost in NY?

Last updated on June 19, 2024

A DWI conviction in New York is a serious matter. Even if it is the first offense, being convicted of a DWI carries significant costs, both to your wallet and your life. Even after paying fines and other fees, you may be facing consequences affecting your employment, your personal and professional relationships, and your future. If you are facing DWI charges on Long Island, you owe it to yourself to get the legal advice and guidance of an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer to help you navigate the legal system. Attorney Jason Bassett can advise you on your best recourse against a DWI, help you understand whether a DWI charge can be reduced, try to get the charges dismissed, or negotiate a plea bargain. For personalized and knowledgeable legal representation tailored to your specific situation, please contact the Law Offices of Jason Bassett at (631) 259-6060.

Initial New York DWI Costs, Fines, and Fees

In New York, alcohol-impaired driving typically falls into two main categories. These are

  • DWAI, or Driving While Ability Impaired, or
  • DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated

Both of these carry their own consequences and fines. For first-time offenders, a DWAI can carry fines between $300 and $500. For a DWI, you may be facing fines between $500 and $1,000 for a first offense.

You can add to that the costs of posting bail, court costs, paying any towing charges you may have incurred, and an impound fee. Depending on your particular situation, this can run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars in financial costs. 

How Much Is A DWI Fine?

Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol constitutes a significant offense in New York. Facing a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge carries substantial consequences, including imprisonment and significant fines. It is crucial to understand the potential implications you may encounter during this time.

  • Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (AGG DWI): Individuals charged with AGG DWI may face a fine ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.
  • Second AGG DWI in 10 years (E felony): In the case of a second AGG DWI offense within a 10-year period, the penalties escalate to an E felony, with a fine imposed between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Third AGG DWI in 10 years (D felony): A third AGG DWI within a 10-year timeframe is considered a D felony, attracting a more substantial fine of $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Impaired by a Drug (DWAI-Drug): For DWI or DWAI-Drug offenses, the stipulated fine falls within the range of $500 to $1,000.
  • Second DWI or DWAI-Drug violation in 10 years (E felony): If an individual commits a second DWI or DWAI-Drug violation within a 10-year period, the offense is elevated to an E felony, with a fine set between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Third DWI or DWAI-Drug violation in 10 years (D felony): A third DWI or DWAI-Drug violation within a 10-year span is classified as a D felony, carrying a more substantial fine ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

Additionally, surcharges of $260 are applied to alcohol-related misdemeanors, and felonies typically incur charges averaging around $400, with slight variations based on the court of conviction. It is crucial to secure reliable legal representation to navigate these intricate legal issues effectively.

Navigating the intricacies of DWI charges can be a daunting task, but a skilled lawyer can guide you through the process. Long Island DWI lawyer Jason Bassett can meticulously examine the details of your case, craft a strategic defense, and advocate on your behalf to potentially reduce fines or penalties. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Cost of DWI Classes in New York

If you are convicted of a DWI in New York, you will probably be ordered to attend substance abuse classes. These legally required classes do not come without their own financial implications. A substance abuse class in New York can start at $50 per class, with additional fees for substance abuse counseling at around $200. In addition to these, you can end up paying the cost of an alcohol abuse screening, which may also be required. 

Types of DWI Costs in New York Description
Substance Abuse Classes Mandatory classes for DWI offenders, starting at around $50 per class, with additional fees for counseling (around $200).
Alcohol Abuse Screening Additional cost for required screenings.
Increased Insurance Premiums After a DWI conviction, insurance premiums can increase substantially, on average about $1,500 annually for 3 years.
Legal Fees and Court Appearances Costs associated with legal representation and time spent in court.
Transportation Costs Expenses related to alternative transportation when a license is suspended due to a DWI conviction.

The Cost to Your Insurance Premiums After a DWI in New York

After you are convicted of a DWI in New York, your insurance company will see you as a high risk. How big an effect it will have on your individual coverage and premiums will vary depending on who your insurer is and where you live. In most cases, at the very least, there will be a substantial increase in the price of your premiums – on average about $1,500 annually. Your premiums will be impacted by your DWI for about 3 years. 

How Much Does a DUI Cost Over Ten Years?

Incurring a DUI can have a substantial financial impact far beyond the initial fines and legal fees. One of the most significant long-term costs associated with a DUI conviction comes from increased car insurance premiums. Particularly in states like New York, where DUIs, or DWIs as they are also known, can remain on a driver’s record for up to 15 years, the financial repercussions are considerable.

Drivers who have been convicted of a DWI are often categorized as high-risk by insurance companies. This classification leads to significantly higher insurance rates. In New York, for instance, the average increase in car insurance premiums post-DWI is about 74 percent. With the already high base rates for insurance in New York, this hike can mean that the average annual cost for full coverage insurance post-DWI could be around $6,000, or approximately $500 per month.

Over a span of ten years, this increase translates to an additional expenditure of between $20,000 to $30,000 just for car insurance. When combined with the initial costs of the DUI, such as legal expenses, fines, and other related fees, the total cost over a decade can reach up to $40,000. This figure underscores the severe and lasting financial burden a DUI can impose on an individual.

It’s important to remember that these figures can vary based on individual circumstances and the specifics of the DUI case. However, the financial strain is undeniably significant, making it advisable to consult with a Long Island DWI lawyer to understand the potential consequences and acquire legal assistance.

Other Costs of a DWI in New York

Of course, these are only the financial costs of a DWI in New York. Many employers take a zero policy stance on those who are convicted of a DWI. Even for those whose employment is not directly impacted by a DWI conviction, you should consider the time spent away from work due to court appearances and substance abuse school, not to mention transportation costs if you have had your license suspended.

Because a DWI in New York remains permanently on your record, any future employer will see this when doing a background check. 

Get the Help of a Suffolk County DWI Lawyer

Being convicted of a DWI in New York has many consequences, not the least of which can be financial. If you can get charges dropped, reduced, or dismissed, it is worth your while in terms of your wallet and your future. If you have been charged with a DWI in New York, contact an experienced Long Island DWI lawyer for assistance. Contact Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney to schedule a free consultation to understand your options. 

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