How Much Does a DWI Lawyer Cost in Texas
If you are arrested for DWI in Houston, you need to hire an attorney and do it quickly. But how much does a DWI lawyer cost in Texas?
The short answer is:
- You can expect legal fees up to $5000 for cases that do not go to trial
- You can expect fees to go up to $10,000 if your case goes to court.
- The national average for hiring a DWI attorney is $6,500
DWI Lawyer Cost Depends on a Lot of Variables
Each law firm charges different fees for these cases, and the charges will differ based on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The gravity of the offense and/or any enhanced offense charges
- The lawyer’s experience and specialization
- Time spent collecting evidence and documentation
- Number of court appearances.
It may be difficult for a law firm to give you an accurate estimate of how much your legal fees will be without knowing the specific details of the offense. Many lawyers provide free initial consultation to review your case in order to provide a better idea of DWI lawyer cost.
Notes on Attorney Costs
- A DUI/DWI attorney may charge a flat fee or an hourly rate of $100-$300 or more
- A lawyer charging on an hourly basis deducts the hourly rate from the retainer as the work is done.
- When the retainer is gone you’ll be billed for additional payment.
- Most lawyers provide a free initial consultation to go over the facts of your case while some charge their hourly rate for the time.
- For a first DUI/DWI charge with few or no disputed facts and the intention to plead guilty flat fees start around $500-$1,200, but some attorneys may charge $1,300-$2,500 or more for the same case.
- Many experienced DUI/DWI lawyers say that charging higher fees lets them represent fewer clients, so they can devote more time to each case.
- Legal fees for repeat offenders start around $1,500-$5,000 and up depending on the number of past convictions and the complexity of the case.
- Repeated offenses carry heavier penalties, and in many states a third DUI/DWI charge is automatically a felony.
- Whether flat amount or hourly rates, attorney fee for a DUI/DWI case that goes to trial could run anywhere from $2,000-$25,000 or more. Many cases can be handled without a trial, but some attorneys specialize in fighting DUI/DWI charges.
- If you choose to fight a DUI/DWI charge in a trial, the testimony of expert witnesses to challenge specific evidence can add $2,000-$7,000 or more.
- Attorneys working on an hourly basis charge for time spent answering your questions on the phone or by e-mail, as well as case-related expenses such as interviews, research or photocopies.
- Whether on a flat or hourly rate, your attorney will cost more if there are retrials or appeals.
- When you first meet with an attorney, know the exact charges against you, your court date, your bail amount and any other pertinent facts. Ask about the attorney’s education, experience and area of specialty.
- Your attorney should provide you with a detailed written fee agreement. Read it before signing and keep a copy for your records. Be sure you understand what is covered, whether it’s a flat fee or hourly charges against a retainer, and any other fees and expenses you might have to pay.
Get a Free Consultation to Discuss Costs and Other Concerns
During this initial consultation, you should find out if the lawyer charges hourly rates, a flat fee, or a combination of fee schedules. While more experienced lawyers typically charge higher fees, you should not choose a lawyer based only on the cost of the lawyer’s services. You should ask many questions to see if the lawyer is a good fit for your legal defense.
The Cost of a DWI Lawyer in Texas is Less Than The Potential Cost of Not Hiring a DWI Lawyer
However, you can’t only consider what the cost of a DWI lawyer will be. You must also consider the cost if you don’t hire an attorney. These include the financial cost of a DWI as well as the collateral costs of a DWI. Ask yourself questions like, “How much is losing my job over a DWI worth?”
If you’ve been arrested for DWI and are considering a lawyer, please call Clyde W. Burleson, P.C. at 713-628-1503 and get a free consultation. He has many payment options that should work with any budget no matter how much it costs.