State Traffic Fines for DWI

DWI Arrests in the Woodlands, Conroe, and Montgomery County Texas are subject to what is called a DWI Traffic Fine, if you have been arrested for DWI in Montgomery County, Texas seek the help of a Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney.

What is a DWI State Traffic Fine? 

Effective September 1, 2019 the law in the State of Texas removed a penalizing and burdensome scheme of regulations called DWI surcharges.  These surcharges would prevent you from getting back your driver's license and could be a major source of strife for individuals charged with a Driving While Intoxicated charge.  

 

These fees were replaced with what is referred to as State Traffic Fines.  There are three different fines.  

 

  • $3,000 for the first conviction within a 36-month period;

  • $4,500 for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36-month period; and

  • $6,000 for a first or subsequent conviction if it is shown on the trial of the offense that an analysis of a specimen of the person's blood, breath, or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more at the time the analysis was performed.  

Do you have to pay the DWI State Traffic fine?

Only individuals who have what is called a "final conviction" for DWI have to pay the fines listed in this section.  A "final conviction" for DWI typically means a fine only or jail time and does not include probation or deferred adjudication.  If the case does not end with a fine only or jail time then the conviction is not said to be "final" and does not trigger this statute.  

Additionally, the trial court can waive the payment of the fee if you are indigent.  

What does Indigent mean?

Indigent means that you do not have enough money to reasonably be expected to be able to pay the fine. 

It is the burden of the person requesting the finding of indigency to provide information to the court to show indigency.  The Statute lists types of documentation which may be used.

  • a copy of the person's most recent federal income tax return that shows that the person's income or the person's household income does not exceed 125 percent of the applicable income level established by the federal poverty guidelines;

  • a copy of the person's most recent statement of wages that shows that the person's income or the person's household income does not exceed 125 percent of the applicable income level established by the federal poverty guidelines;

  • documentation from a federal agency, state agency, or school district that indicates that the person or, if the person is a dependent as defined by Section 152, Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the taxpayer claiming the person as a dependent, receives assistance from:

    • the food stamp program or the financial assistance program established under Chapter 31, Human Resources Code;

    • the federal special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children authorized by 42 U.S.C. Section 1786;

    • the medical assistance program under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code;

    • the child health plan program under Chapter 62, Health and Safety Code; or

    • the national free or reduced-price lunch program established under 42 U.S.C. Section 1751 et seq.

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