Understanding the Total Cost of DWI in Texas: El Paso DWI and DUI Help Guide Understanding the Total Cost of DWI in Texas Two Different Ways of Chargng your DWI Attorneys Fees: Generally there are two different ways that at attorneys charge for their services in a DWI defense case. Some offer a flat fee retainer, which will cover all of the costs of basic representation Other attorneys choose to charge an hourly fee. In any case it is extremely important to get a written estimate from the attorney prior to hiring him or her. Two Different Ways of Chargng your DWI Attorneys Fees IMPORTANT REMINDER: When you do hire your attorney, make sure that you have a signed agreement outlining the specific terms and all potential expenses that you may incur. Don’t just sign the document without understanding all of the details. Once signed, keep a copy of the agreement for your records. Most attorneys who rely upon a retainer structure will include the administrative hearing and representation in court as a part of their retainer fee. It is important to keep in mind however that this retainer fee would not include any additional representation as required by an appeal. IMPORTANT REMINDER ATTORNEYS FEES: A DUI/DWI attorney may charge what is known as a flat fee (includes all expenses) or an hourly rate of $100 -$350 or more. Most attorneys accept credit cards, and many can be hired over the phone. For a first your first DUI/DWI charge that may have few or no disputed facts and along with an intention to a guilty plea flat fees can start around $500 -$1,200. However other attorneys charge $1,300 -$2,500 or more for the same case; depending on experience. ATTORNEYS FEES ATTORNEYS FEES: Legal expenses for 2nd offenders may have a starting range of $1,500 -$5,000+. Of course it will depend on the number of past convictions and the complexity/details of each case. Repeated offenses will carry stricter penalties, and in many states a third DUI/DWI charge is an automatic felony. Regardless if you are a flat fee structure or hourly rates, legal fees for a DUI/DWI case that goes to trial could cost in the range of $2,500 -$20,000+ or more. A majority of cases can be handled without a trial, but some attorneys specialize in fighting DUI/DWI charges. ATTORNEYS FEES ATTORNEYS FEES: Legal expenses for 2nd offenders may have a starting range of $1,500 -$5,000+. Of course it will depend on the number of past convictions and the complexity/details of each case. Repeated offenses will carry stricter penalties, and in many states a third DUI/DWI charge is an automatic felony. Regardless if you are a flat fee structure or hourly rates, legal fees for a DUI/DWI case that goes to trial could cost in the range of $2,500 -$20,000+ or more. A majority of cases can be handled without a trial, but some attorneys specialize in fighting DUI/DWI charges. ATTORNEYS FEES No Money for Attorneys Fees? : If you are unable to afford a private attorney, you are able to ask the court to appoint a lawyer at the government expense. You may need to provide the court with details about your finances. From simply a common sense perspective, the court appointed attorney would be better than trying to represent yourself. The court appointed attorney will likely have relevant experience to defending the charges that you are facing. No Money for Attorneys Fees? Additional Costs: Should you choose to fight a DWI charge in a trial you may need to engage the services of an expert witness to challenge the specific evidence ? The cost for this could range anywhere between $2000 and $7000 or more . Whether on a flat fee or an hourly rate your attorney expenses will cost more should there be any retrials or appeals. If you are convicted on DWI charges , fines and other penalties can run anywhere from $300-$1200 or more . In addition to the actual costs of your defense, fines, there are other real costs, and intangible costs associated with your DUI/DWI. Additional Costs Additional Costs: BAIL: You’ll have to spend money on bail to get released after your arrest. Cost: $150-$2500 Towing: When you arrested for DUI/DWI your vehicle gets towed. In some places retrieving may only cost $100 or so, but it is becoming increasingly more common for cities to charge huge fees for DUI/DWI related Towing Charges. Retrieving your car is an expense and a hassle. Insurance: One of the biggest expenses to a DUI/DWI conviction is the increase in insurance premiums. If you get a DUI/DWI conviction, it will likely affect your insurance rates for (at least) the next three to five years. Cost Estimate: $4,500 or more. Additional Costs Other Miscellaneous "costs": Employment: When applying for work is not uncommon for employers to request whether or not you had ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. A DUI/DWI conviction can negatively impact your chances of being hired . Long Term Health Insurance: Most insurance companies will ask regarding specifics of your driving record during the application process. If you have been convicted of a drunk driving offense there is a very good chance that the coverage available to you will be more expensive. Renting: Some landlords also will request information regarding your driving record. This may not be a deal breaker when applying for a rental agreement; however this certainly could impact the landlords decision when evaluating you as a candidate. Other Miscellaneous "costs" Slide 11: For more useful advice on how to protect yourself when facing DWI charges in EL Paso, Texas: www.dwielpaso.com You can get your FREE DWI | DUI Guide eBook here.