Every defendant convicted of DWI in Texas faces a surcharge or “tax” from DPS. This surcharge is to be paid as a penalty for maintaining your drivers license for three years from the date of the conviction. These surcharges can be very expensive. For example, if you are convicted on a misdemeanor DWI with BAC above .15 your total surcharge is $4500!
Many judges are starting to realize this is overkill for someone convicted of a DWI. Many defendants find it impossible to pay these surcharges and then their license gets suspended and it turns into a hole they can’t dig out of.
The remedy to legally avoid paying these surcharges is to have your attorney file a WAIVER OF SURCHARGE motion. At your final court hearing, your attorney can ask you questions on the record regarding your financial situation. Many judges are very sympathetic to the financial hardships these surcharges impose and they will waive them. Some judges want written documentation but many will sign a surcharge waiver based on testimony alone.
If you are facing a DWI or any criminal charge, call the Law Office of Lance Turnbow at 512-392-4756 or 830-358-6658