The cost of getting a DWI can be steep. On a literal level, you can expect to spend up to $30,000 in fees, court fines, loss of income, and more.
Beyond the immediate costs and consequences, it’s important to think about the collateral consequences as well.
What is a collateral consequence? Simply put, in addition to the state penalties for a DWI, a collateral consequence is an unintended aftereffect of a DWI charge or conviction. These can include indirect consequences that affect your future opportunities or access to certain benefits.
If you have a pending DWI charge, it’s important to think about how a conviction could impact your future. Here are a few crucial consequences of a DWI in Texas.
In a court of law, you are considered innocent until proven guilty. However, your employer isn’t held to the same standard: they can dismiss you from your job after you’ve received DWI charges in Texas. Worse, because most employers run background checks on prospective employees, you may find that your DWI charge makes it difficult to find your next job.
Professional License Loss
If your career requires you to maintain a professional license, you may find your license revoked after a DWI conviction. These can include licenses for engineers, architects, medical professionals, teachers, lawyers, and government employees.
Difficulty Getting a Loan
DWI convictions can make it difficult to get a loan in the future, regardless of the source of the loan. When a financial institution sees a conviction on your background check, they may assume that you’re a riskier investment than someone with a clean slate. From home mortgages to car loans to payday loans, it may be hard or even impossible to get the financing you need.
Difficulty Finding Housing
In a similar vein, you may find it difficult to find housing as well. Landlords who perform background checks on prospective renters may not want to allow someone with a criminal record to access their property.
Lost Right to Own a Gun
Federal law states that anyone convicted of a felony will lose their right to own firearms. If you are convicted of a DWI, it will become illegal for you to own a gun, even if you have already purchased it.
Lost Right to Vote
If you are charged with a felony DWI conviction, you will lose your right to vote. Only after you have completed your sentence will you be allowed to register to vote once more.
Child Custody Complications
If you have a child custody arrangement, you may find that a DWI conviction impacts your custody rights. Your conviction may look like a red flag to any court that must weigh in on your case. They may hesitate to allow you custody if they think children might be unsafe around someone dependent on drugs or alcohol.
Avoid the Collateral Consequences of a Conviction
If you’ve been charged with a DWI, it’s important to do all you can to avoid the collateral consequences of a DWI conviction. The lost opportunities and benefits that come with this conviction can have a long-term impact on your quality of life.
That’s where our team comes in. Our expert attorneys have experience fighting and winning DWI cases, and we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn what we can do for your legal defense.