What are the costs associated with a DWI arrest in New Mexico?

When you find yourself arrested for DWI in New Mexico you might be thinking “What’s this going to cost me?”

Other than the emotional toll; going to jail, harm to your reputation; stress and time dealing with the DWI arrest, a DWI can be monetarily expensive.

The immediate financial costs begin to add up following the arrest. First, the arresting agency will usually tow your car to the impound lot. The tow fees and impound fees can be a couple hundred dollars. If the arrest leads to a vehicle seizure hearing than you can expect those costs multiply. You will most likely incur attorney fees in fighting the seizure; and if you negotiate a deal for the return of the car you will most likely have to enter into a “boot agreement” whereby your car is immobilized by placing a “boot” on it and this immobilization can last from a few months to a year or more. The boot costs money too and you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to thousands of dollars and this must be paid up front when you pick up your vehicle from the impound lot. If you have the hearing a lose, then your car is subject to forfeiture proceedings in District Court where you will incur even more attorney fees. If the State is successful at the administrative hearing level and at the District Court then you will most likely lose your car and it will be auctioned off. The costs of this outcome could be tens of thousands of dollars depending on the make, model and condition of the seized vehicle.

When you request your Motor Vehicle Department Revocation Hearing you will pay $25.00. You may hire an attorney to help you with this and that attorney fee can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. If you lose the MVD hearing you and/or your attorney can appeal that decision to the District Court but, again, expect to be paying a lawyer hundreds if not thousands of dollars to protect your driving privileges.

The criminal proceedings cost money to defend; and if convicted have additional costs. You can expect to pay a private attorney anywhere from $1000 to defend the DWI charge to in excess of $7500 and that range is for a first offense. Expect the fees to increase as the number of the DWI charge increases. For example, a DWI 4th Offense will be charged as a felony and a typical felony defense will be $5000 or more at the low end and $10,000 or more at the high end.

If convicted, there are fines ranging from $500 to $5000 or more not including court costs and fees, Then your sentence will most likely be probated and you are responsible for the costs of probation. The sentence can also include counseling and classes and you are responsible for the costs of this counseling and these classes

Finally, if you lose the criminal case and/or the MVD administrative case you’re driving privileges will be revoked. You will still be able to drive but not before you obtain an ignition interlock restricted license and, even then, you can only drive a car with an ignition interlock devices installed on it. The cost of obtaining the ignition interlock coupled with the installation and monthly ignition interlock fee for the device and easily exceed $1000.00.

In conclusion, the cost of receiving a DWI charge and conviction is high. Not only do you have to deal with the social stigma of having a DWI charge or conviction on your driving record, but you will lose a massive amount of time dealing with the administrative proceedings and criminal proceedings. In addition, you will incur hard expenses in the form of attorney fees; administrative fees; fines, fees, and classes, and possibly lose your driving privileges.

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