Drinking and driving is a severe crime in Texas, carrying heavy consequences for those who make the decision. One thing many facing a DWI charge forget to take into consideration is how it will impact their insurance rates. If you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated, understanding how Texas handles these cases is crucial. Keep reading to learn more about how this will impact your insurance and discover how Houston DWI defense attorneys can fight for the best possible outcome for your circumstances.
Will My Insurance Rates Rise Following a DWI?
Though it may not seem fair, your insurance rate will rise after a DWI conviction.
By law, Texas insurance companies do not have to continue carrying you after you’re arrested for a DWI. This is because you are considered a “high-risk driver”, and insurance companies realize they may end up paying if you get into an accident while intoxicated. If you are dropped by your carrier, you must find another company to cover you to continue driving.
If your insurance company drops you, you may be surprised to find that the coverage will be much more expensive than what you’re used to. Should your insurance choose to keep you on their plan, your annual rates will increase dramatically. In most instances, Texans with a DWI on their record can expect to see at least a 50% increase in their payments.
What Else Must I Do to Retain My Ability to Drive?
Aside from finding coverage if your carrier drops you and paying more annually, you’ll need to apply for and carry an SR-22. This is s proof of insurance form, showing the court that you meet the minimum coverage requirement to drive after your license has been reinstated.
You must also pay a number of fines. This includes an initial fine of up to $2,000. Also, to retain your license, you must pay an additional fine of up to $2,000 annually for the first three years following your conviction.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Not only can a DWI cost you in the long term by staining your criminal record, but it can also cost you big time in the immediate aftermath. The fees and fines associated with a DWI are far from pocket change, and your insurance rates will likely never be as low as they were prior to your conviction.
If you’re facing DWI charges, you may think there’s nothing you can do. However, reaching out to an attorney is essential. A competent lawyer can help examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest to explore all possible defenses.
When you’re in trouble, you must reach out to a firm that understands what’s at stake. At the Gonzalez Law Group, our dedicated attorneys will do everything possible to try to help you achieve the best outcome for your specific circumstances. Reach out today to learn how we can help you.