You already understand some of the costs of a DWI conviction. Jail time comes to the forefront. You also expect probation, fines, restitution if your actions caused damages and the loss of your driver’s license. But that is not all. Anyone convicted of DWI, faced a few hidden costs; ones that represent the next stage of your punishment.
There is loss of reputation and the potential to lose your job. You may even lose income and forfeit your car. These hidden losses may surprise you, leaving you stunned and wondering how to gather up your dignity and your life after a DWI conviction.
Reputation and income take a hit
Here are a few of the hidden costs to expect after a DWI conviction:
- A stained and damaged reputation: You cannot hide a conviction from your family, friends, community as well as employer. You may have to find new friends or a new job. Repairing your reputation is possible but may take time.
- The loss of income: As a result of your conviction, you will have to sort out certain life matters, forcing you to take perhaps a month of “unpaid vacation” from your job. That is if you still have a job.
- A significant boost in insurance rates: A red flag is firmly planted on any driver’s insurance policy with your name on it. A DWI charge likely leads to a more than doubling in insurance rates. If you want to continue to legally drive, you will have to fork over a lot.
- The installation of an ignition interlock device: In certain cases in North Carolina, drivers convicted of DWI must have this device installed in their vehicle if they want to continue to drive. Drivers breathe into an ignition interlock device. If alcohol is detected, the device prevents the vehicle from starting. Installation and monitoring costs are your responsibility.
- Alcohol evaluation and treatment: A judge may order you to enroll in a substance abuse program that may entail online classes and in-person counseling sessions. If convicted of a felony DWI in North Carolina, not only must you serve a yearlong jail sentence in North Carolina, but you also must participate in a substance abuse program.
- The forfeiture of your vehicle: In circumstances involving repeat offenders, a law enforcement officer may seize your vehicle after an arrest. A judge then orders you to forfeit the vehicle, which either is sold or kept by the local school board.
When faced with such serious charges, it is important to work with a legal ally who can help you. A DWI conviction lingers and so do its penalties.