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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Woodlands Criminal Defense Attorney - DWI Fines

Woodlands Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - DWI Attorney and Board Certified in Criminal Law.

Today's article will focus on fines associated with DWI cases. DWI is one of the most expensive misdemeanor crimes you can be charged with. Not only is there a fine associated with the criminal charge itself, there are state traffic fines, court costs, bonds and of course attorney fees.

Here is the list of the applicable fines associated with misdemeanor DWI charges

1. Driving While Intoxicated First Offense Fine - $2000 max fine

2. Driving While Intoxicated Second Offense Fine - $4000 max fine

3. Driving While Intoxicated 0.15 or greater alcohol level - $4000 max fine

Class B misdemeanor DWI Court Costs - $270

These Court Costs are retained by the local clerk as an administrative court fee. The allocation of court costs received by the comptroller of Texas are distributed among different accounts and funds, with each receiving a percentage of the total court costs, as listed in the following 19 items:

  1. Crime stoppers assistance account: 0.2427%

  2. Breath alcohol testing account: 0.3900%

  3. Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute account: 1.4741%

  4. Texas Commission on Law Enforcement account: 3.4418%

  5. Law enforcement and custodial officer supplement retirement trust fund: 7.2674%

  6. Criminal justice planning account: 8.5748%

  7. Center for the Study and Prevention of Juvenile Crime and Delinquency account: 0.8540%

  8. Compensation to victims of crime account: 24.6704%

  9. Emergency radio infrastructure account: 3.6913%

  10. Judicial and court personnel training account: 3.3224%

  11. Correctional Management Institute of Texas and Criminal Justice Center Account: 0.8522%

  12. Fair defense account: 17.8857%

  13. Judicial fund: 12.2667%

  14. DNA testing account: 0.1394%

  15. Specialty court account: 1.0377%

  16. Statewide electronic filing system account: 0.5485%

  17. Jury service fund: 6.4090%

  18. Truancy prevention and diversion account: 2.5956%

  19. Transportation administrative fee account: 4.3363%

EMS Trauma Fine - $100

EMS, Trauma Facilities and Trauma Care Systems (Fine for Intoxication Convictions) are authorized by CCP, art. 102.0185 and it is distributed 90% to the State and 10% the County as a collection fee. The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is responsible for depositing the funds associated with these fines into a Fund For Emergency Medical Services, Trauma Facilities, And Trauma Care Systems This fund was established under §773.006, Health & Safety Code.

State Traffic Fines - Starting on September 1, 2019 the law in the State of Texas established State Traffic Fines. There are three different fines.

1. $3,000 for the first conviction within a 36-month period;

2. $4,500 for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36-month period; and

3. $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. ​

These state traffic fines only apply when there has been a final conviction. You can avoid them if you are indigent or are placed on probation.

Bonds can also be a significant expense in a DWI case. A bond is a form of security that is required by the court to ensure that a defendant appears in court as required. Under Chapter 17 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a bond is set by a judicial officer for a defendant who has been arrested for a criminal offense. The bond amount is intended to ensure the defendant's appearance at trial, and can be paid either in full or through the services of a bail bondsman. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bond can be forfeited, and the defendant can be subject to additional legal proceedings. The purpose of the bond is to provide a guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear as required, and to balance the defendant's right to liberty with the interests of the community in ensuring that the defendant faces justice for the alleged crime.

Typical Bonds for Misdemeanor DWI cases are $600 but a DWI second case could be as high as $5000 and if you are arrested for failure to appear in court and having your bond revoked it will be set at $10,000.

Finally Attorneys Fees can act somewhat like a fine because the cost of quality representation can be greater than all of the fines associated with a DWI imposed by the State. In a criminal case the only decision you get to make entirely on your own is who will act as your attorney.


For litigants who do not have counsel: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney client relationship. Call to set up a free consultation.

For the general public: This Blog/Web Site is for educational purposes only and it provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship created. Don't just read this as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney.

For attorneys: This Blog is informational and educational in nature and is not a substitute for Westlaw or other research and consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. As you know the law can change day to day based on recent case opinions. And unfortunately you shouldn't cite it in court as binding authority because it is not. Mention it to your friends, just seek real consultation if its something important.

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