Pop star Justin Bieber’s DWI mug shot has been all over the media for the past several days. In the mug shot, Bieber appears smiling and not the least bit concerned over his DWI charge. Perhaps that’s because Bieber can easily afford the fines and fees that go along with a conviction.
However, for most people in Minnesota and elsewhere, the costs resulting from a DWI conviction are overwhelming. As Groshek Law PA’s Kelly Moore explained in a CBS news report recently, a DWI conviction in Minnesota actually involves two separate cases.
The criminal side carries a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first offense plus attorney’s fees and court costs, and the fines get much higher for subsequent convictions.
But there is also the “implied consent” side, or the civil case, for drivers who refuse to submit to testing after being pulled over. These individuals face a driver’s license suspension and must deal with administrative steps within a certain time frame in order to have their licenses reinstated.
When the license is reinstated, it means several hundred dollars in a license re-issue fee and other fines. Additionally, drivers convicted of DWI can also expect their auto insurance rates to increase by a few thousand dollars.
As DWI defense lawyer Kelly Moore told CBS news, a DWI can cost as much as $10,000 once everything is all said and done. While that might be pocket change to Justin Bieber, it’s extremely expensive for most Minnesotans.
That’s why it’s important to consult an experienced DWI defense lawyer in your area after being accused of drunk driving. Doing so can help you put your best defense forward during this complicated and overwhelming process.
Source: CBS Minnesota, “Another Reason Not To Drink & Drive: The Hidden Costs Of DWI,” Reg Chapman, Dec. 31, 2013