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What Are the Typical Costs Associated with a DWI?

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Charlotte DWI Attorney, Charlotte DWI Lawyer on Sunday, October 11, 2020


After being charged with a DWI, you may be worried only about spending time in jail if you’re convicted of a DWI; however, there are other consequences you should be concerned about as well. After learning about DWI penalties, many people worry about how they will afford all of the fines, legal fees, and other costs.

If you want to give yourself the best chance of avoiding a DWI conviction altogether or reduce your costs and punishment as much as possible, you need to work with an experienced DWI lawyer. Our lawyers at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys has helped hundreds of people charged with a DWI to get the best outcome possible. Call us today at (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form.

DWI Fines in North Carolina

If you are convicted of a DWI, the court will order that you pay a fine, in addition to a number of other possible penalties at its disposal. The fines can range from $200 for the least severe offense (DWI Level 5) up to $10,000 for the most severe offense (Aggravated DWI Level 1). A felony DWI for habitual offenders may result in an even higher fine.

If you are convicted of a DWI in Mecklenburg County, or in any other county in North Carolina, the case will proceed to a sentencing hearing. During the sentencing hearing, the state will argue any aggravating factors it believes are present in your case, while your DWI attorney should argue against any aggravating factors inappropriately submitted by the state, as well as offer any mitigating factors present in your case. After hearing the arguments by both sides, the presiding judge will determine what level of DWI applies for sentencing.

Substance Abuse Treatment

If you are convicted of a DWI in North Carolina, you will also be ordered to undergo a substance abuse assessment, and complete all recommended treatment as a result of the assessment. The number of treatment hours recommended by the facility conducting the assessment varies based on the facts of the case, as well as the personal background information gathered during your assessment.

Even the cheapest substance abuse treatment programs typically cost several hundred dollars, and the failure to complete the treatment hours will only prolong the revocation of your driving privileges. Sometimes it is beneficial to start one of these programs before you even go to court for a DWI to show the judge that you are taking initiative and are serious about your situation.

Job Loss

If you are convicted of a DWI, you could also lose your job. You may be required to report the conviction to your employer, especially if you are professionally licensed or you drive as part of your employment. If your employer opts to terminate you, you will suffer the costs of lost wages and having to find a new job with a DWI conviction on your criminal record.


A DWI conviction will result in the revocation of your driving privileges in North Carolina for at least twelve (12) months. If you lose your driving privileges, you will have to pay friends and family to take you from place to place until you are eligible to apply for a limited driving privilege, should the facts of your case permit that option. You may also have to pay for Ubers, Lyfts, and taxis, which can cost hundreds or thousands over time.

Legal Fees

If you are arrested for a DWI, you will also have legal fees. However, you should think of these as fees that will help you reduce the other costs associated with your charge and possibly help you keep the DWI off your record entirely.

The legal team at Randall & Stump, PLLC will explore every option when defending your DWI charge, as our goal in every case is to secure a dismissal or not guilty verdict at trial. We may even be able to get your case dismissed if your traffic stop was invalid and evidence gathered does not support their case. In cases where trial is not an option, we will work with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced whenever possible, and minimize the punishment, if possible. No matter how good or bad you think the case looks, our experienced DWI lawyers will do everything possible to reduce your costs and keep your record clean.

Call Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

If you were arrested or have questions about a DWI in North Carolina, call us today at (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form. We are available to answer your questions and help you develop a strategy to move forward with your life.