When you get arrested for a standard Texas DWI offense, the penalties are quite serious. You could serve time in jail, and you could pay up to $2,000 in court fines. When you have a child under the age of 15 years old in the vehicle, and you are charged with a DWI, the costs and penalties become more severe.
Texas DWI Penalties are Severe
The DWI offense with a child passenger in the car, elevates to what you would face with a third DWI offense. Since 2003, a DWI offense with a child under the age of 15 years old, has risen from a misdemeanor to a Felony. Regardless if you have had a prior offense or not, the DWI with a child passenger carries a Felony charge.
A person convicted of this charge, could possibly pay as much as $10,000, and serve from 180 days to two years in a state jail. Lawmakers have also added other penalties and costs associated with a DWI offense with a child passenger.
Persons convicted of DWI with the added element of their being a child passenger present will potentially face all or some of the penalties listed below.
- You could lose your privilege to vote.
- You may not qualify any longer for certain government assistance programs.
- You could lose the right to possess and operate a firearm.
- Your child custody case could be affected.
- If the child in the motor vehicle was yours, Texas child protective services could be involved, and you could lose your child. You could also lose your child permanently.
- Economical losses such as certain employment opportunities could be affected.
On top of those penalties and consequences, the average cost affiliated with a DWI offense with a child passenger has also risen since 2003,
Costs Associated With DWI /Child Passenger Cases
The average cost of a DWI offense with a child passenger case is $6,500. The cost of an attorney can cost someone as much as $1,9000. Court fees or fines on average will cost $1,100. As required, if convicted, a Drug and Alcohol substance abuse program or school costs on average $360, while the cost for a reinstatement fee from the Texas DMV is $260. Installation of Interlock Ignition costs $170 and on average, car insurance will rise to $800 extra a year.
If you have been charged with a DWI offense with a child passenger, it would be advisable to seek legal guidance from a smart Texas attorney with experienced handling such cases.