Getting stopped for a DWI can be a difficult experience, especially if it leads to a conviction. There are a number of expenses involved just in the process of being arrested. You’ll be required to pay court costs, attorney’s fees, and potentially, fines.
But beyond that—especially if you are convicted—you’ll face other consequences that affect you after your court case is over. If incarceration is part of your sentencing, you’ll spend time away from your family, friends, and of course, your job. You may very well lose your job, and more. Here, we’ll discuss other consequences that a DWI conviction can bring.
Even if you don’t lose your license, or have it reinstated, you’ll face the possibility of incarceration. For a first time DWI, the penalties include:
- Up to six months in jail
- Fines of up to $500
- A full license suspension for 30 days, then 60 days restricted
You may also be subjected to probation after you’re released from prison, and restricted from certain types of travel.
Will you lose your job for a DWI conviction? It’s very possible.
Some companies will terminate employment after they are notified of an employee’s arrest. Your employee handbook can explain the company’s rules on DWI. Depending on your company and your job, you may not be fired, but you may have to answer some questions to HR.
But some occupations will mean a near-automatic termination, as well as the possible suspension of your professional license, such as:
- Doctors and nurses, whose professional licenses are regulated by state medical boards
- Pilots and air traffic controllers, who are automatically subjected to a “medical fitness” review. If you’re found to be unfit due to substance abuse, you will be prohibited from working.
- Holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can also be grounded for DWI
- Government employees who hold a security clearance can be impacted by a DWI
A DWI can also affect your relationships with coworkers, colleagues and employees.
Future employment opportunities may also be limited, particularly with a suspended professional license. For some positions, a conviction may not be a problem. But if you are applying for a position that involves driving, companies may be reluctant to consider hiring you.
Divorce And Child Custody
If you’re already in a divorce and/or child custody case, a DWI conviction won’t do you any favors.
Your spouse can use your DWI arrest and conviction to demonstrate to the court that you are not a fit parent and not responsible enough to care for your children.
While it’s not an automatic loss of visitation, without a vehicle, you may have difficulties visiting, picking them up and returning them to the other parent.
Other factors a family law judge may consider are if your conviction is your first, or one of many, if you have a criminal record with other pending charges, if your children were with you at the time of arrest, your BAC and if you’ve completed a rehab program.
Insurance Premium Increases
One un-discussed factor is what happens when you try to buy car insurance again. A conviction will substantially raise your rates due to the increased risk an insurer must assume in order to sell you insurance.
It’s not impossible to get—there are insurers who specialize in DUI insurance—but it will be considerably more expensive once your license is restored. But your rates can double, and stay that way for as long as ten years.
DWI Defense In Missouri
These are just some of the financial consequences in the aftermath of a DWI conviction in Missouri.
If you’ve been arrested for DWI, you need to find legal help—fast. A conviction can cost you more than money.
Call The Shostak Law Firm today at (314) 380-3059 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss your St. Louis City, St. Louis County, or St. Charles, Missouri DWI. We’ll work to investigate your case and mitigate the charges, as well as work towards an acquittal and/or dismissal. The costs for a Missouri DWI attorney are far less expensive in the long run than a conviction.
Need more information? Read our free e-book, Missouri DWI Survival Guide to make an informed decision about what to do next.