Annual Surcharges for Houston DWIs

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has established something called the Driver Responsibility Program. One of the requirements of this program is that anyone arrested for DWI (after September 2003) will have a surcharge added to their record. These are not the same thing as fees imposed by things like license revocation. A DWI is not the only way to get surcharges, but rather they can be added after a regular moving violation such as speeding. According to DPS, surcharges can be asses in two distinct ways.

With the point system,

Points are assessed for traffic convictions. Once the conviction has been added to the driver record, points are assigned and remain on the driver record for three years from the date of conviction.

If you are arrested for a DWI, but your charges are reduced to something like reckless driving, the point system may apply to you.

With conviction-based surcharges,

Individuals will pay an annual surcharge for three years from the date of conviction. Points are not assessed for these offenses because the surcharge is automatic upon conviction.

For conviction-based surcharges, fines will differ depending on the type of conviction/offense. That table, provided by the Texas DPS, lists those fines as follows:

  • 1st DWI is a $1,000 surcharge
  • Subsequent DWI is a $1,500 surcharge
  • DWI with BAC of .16 percent or more is a $2,000 surcharge

It is required to pay a surcharge within 30 days of the offense. Failure to do so can result in an automatic driver license suspension. Payments can be made online or by mailing the Surcharge Processing center. DPS will review the amount of surcharges you have to pay every year for three years.

Can my surcharges be reduced?

The DPS does allow for some individuals to get their surcharges reduced through something called the Indigency Program. To qualify, you must be living at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level. To learn more about the federal poverty level and qualifying factors, visit the Texas Indigency Program informational page or contact the firm directly. A Houston DWI lawyer from the firm may be able to assist you in applying for indigency by submitted all the necessary documentation such as a 1040 form and recent bank statements. For those who can't afford this particular penalty of a DWI conviction, there is hope to lower payments through this special program.

Your Houston DWI Lawyer - Free Consultation

Remember that surcharges are automatic as soon as you are convicted of a driving while intoxicated. To avoid these and other penalties, do not hesitate to contact Houston DWI lawyer Herman Martinez. The firm has Over 20 years of experience in the field, and Mr. Martinez has even been recognized as a Top Houston DWI Attorney by H-Texas Magazine. You can trust this firm's experience and skill to get your charges reduced or dismissed. While this firm cannot guarantee results, it can guarantee that it will fight aggressively for its clients' rights.

To learn more about DWI, your penalties and how we can help, call now and receive a free consultation.

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