DWI lawyer charges can be a little expensive in Texas. People who face such charges in Texas usually have a rough idea that the process will be high-priced but they are not ready for the true costs of a DWI conviction. Talking reality, an initial DWI conviction can cost between $15000 and $20000, or even more!

Here are some things you can expect to pay:

  • Legal and lawyer fees
  • Court fees
  • Punishment fines
  • Restitution fees
  • Probation fees
  • Interlock system installation fees
  • Cost of bail
  • SR22 & increased insurance rates
  • Impound lot fees

DWI Lawyer Fees

If you get charged for a DWI in texas, you will need to hire a lawyer who is expert in handling DWI cases to handle your defense. The exact amount of money that the lawyer may cost varies depending on several factors. Firstly, every lawyer would have a different fee structure that can affect the overall cost of the process. Some would ask for an hourly rate, while others may charge the complete fee at a single time that would cover all stages of the process. If the lawyer is charging you hourly, the total cost would depend on the work he needs to do to create your defense. For instance, arranging a plea bargain with the district attorney will take a whole lot less time than going to trial.

Secondly, the cost would be affected based on the background, law firm, and the experience of your lawyer. If you decide to hire a lawyer who is well-known and has long years of experience, plus his law firm is always rushy, get ready for a heavy cost! Whereas, if you hire a lawyer who has less years of experience and his law firm is not very famous, you can expect lower costs. Thirdly, the detail of your case are important and they can affect the costs. If your case is a simple one, you will find yourself to be paying less for the process as compared to complex cases. Complex cases are time-consuming and need more effort by the lawyer, which in turn leads to higher costs.

Finally, the cost will be heavily influenced by whether your case goes to trial or not. Most initial cases do not go to trial, they end on negotiating a plea. However, if your case goes to trial by even a small percentage, the lawyer’s fee will highly be increased, almost double!

Summarizing, your DWI lawyer costs can vary depending on whether your case goes to trial or not, your lawyer’s experience, the popularity of his law firm, and the complexity of your case. Giving a rough estimate, you can expect the costs to be between $1000 and %5000 for a simple case without trial, whereas for a complex one that actually goes to trial, the cost can be up to $1000

Court & Administrative Fees, Penalties & Fines

The Texas state court system itself can also impose a significant number of fines, penalties, and costs on anyone convicted of DWI.

Court Costs

Even if your lawyer shows up in the court just for an arraignment and a bail hearing before having a plea arrangement, or they end up defending your case in a trial, the cost of his appearance in court would mean that you have to pay for it. These court costs change yet frequently range somewhere in the range of $200 and $1,500.

Court-Imposed Fines

Moreover, the Texas State law has likewise settled a schedule of DWI fines for those sentenced for driving under influence of alcohol along with the other non-money related punishments. First-time guilty parties captured with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of under 0.15 face a most extreme fine of $2,000, however the specific fine depends on either the  plea arrangement made with the prosecution or the judge’s caution (in the event that the case goes to trial).Aggravating factors increase this statutory maximum fine amount. For instance, a second-time guilty party can be fined up to $4,000, and third-time wrongdoers or those that commit intoxication attack or murder can be fined up to $10,000.

Texas Driver Responsibility Program Fees – Driver’s License Surcharge

Most people who are charged in the case of drunk driving will have their license suspended according to the Texas State Law. For the re-establishment of a suspended license,  the driver will be expected to pay a yearly extra charge to the state for quite a long time, about 3 years.

Texas Driver’s License Surcharge Costs

Generally speaking:

  • First-time guilty parties face a $1,000 yearly charge (for a sum of $3,000)
  • Second-time guilty parties are collected a $1,500 yearly expense (for a sum of $4,500)
  • Anybody convicted for DWI with a BAC of more than 0.15 should pay a $2,000 yearly charge (for a sum of $6,000).

Monthly Probation Fees

While not every person sentenced for DWI faces prison time (especially for a first offense), probation is obligatory for all DWI convictions. First-time guilty parties can anticipate a base probation time of a half year, however a year is more ordinary. Habitual offenders or those with aggravating circumstances might confront longer probation periods. While waiting on the post trial process, those indicted for DWI are expected to pay month to month probation charges of somewhere in the range of $60 and $100.

Alcohol Education Program Fees

Anybody who has been sentenced for a first-time DWI offense in Texas can be requested to take part in an Alcohol Education Program. This 12-hour course regularly costs $70. Habitual offenders can be expected to go to a DWI Intervention Program, an extensive version of the class for first-time wrongdoers. This 30-hour class costs $185.

Interlock Ignition Switch Cost

The people who have been sentenced for DWI at least twice in no less than five years are ordinarily expected to have an ignition switch introduced in their vehicle. This gadget fills in as a smaller than expected breathalyzer, keeping a person from starting their vehicle whenever intoxicated. The individual sentenced for DWI bears the expense of the switch, regularly somewhere in the range of $70 and $100 each month.

DWI Bail Cost

For those accused of DWI (as well as numerous other crime charges), Texas utilizes a bail bond framework. This system permits a defendant confronting a DWI charge to return home as opposed to remain in prison once posting a specific measure of cash as security for their court appearances. Either the defendant or his family can post bail, or a bail holding organization can be used to post bail on the behalf of the defendant. Regardless, the whole bail cost will be returned at the end of the case as long as the defendant makes generally required court appearances and follows any brief court orders gave by the judge.

The exact amount of bail required depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The defendant’s previous record of DWI convictions.
  • Some other convictions on the defendant’s record that would propose that he could be viewed as perilous, savage, or at a high risk of escaping the state upon release.
  • The defendant’s ability to submit to required chemical testing to check their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
  • Any aggravating offenses committed by the defendant during the DWI, like assault or murder while intoxicated.

A person accused of DWI, interestingly, will normally have their bail set somewhere in the range of $200 and $1,000. The judge has full control over increasing or decreasing this amount especially if the charge is a misdemeanor.


What are the typical costs associated with a first-time DWI conviction in Texas?

A first-time DWI conviction in Texas can cost between $15,000 and $20,000, covering legal fees, court fines, Driver Responsibility Program surcharges, probation fees, and other related expenses.

How much do DWI lawyer fees typically cost in Texas?

DWI lawyer fees in Texas vary based on case complexity and the lawyer’s experience, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for straightforward cases and exceeding $10,000 for complex cases that go to trial.

Can I negotiate the costs associated with a DWI conviction in Texas?

While some costs, such as court-imposed fines, may not be negotiable, it’s possible to work with your lawyer to explore options for reducing legal fees, probation fees, and other expenses.

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