What is the average cost of a lawyer to represent a first time DUI case? Also Avg punishment?

Asked over 1 year ago - Seattle, WA

was speeding pulled over in downtown seattle by WSP refused field test once out of the vehicle. Arrested, car impounded. I was taken to the UW precinct and took breathalyzer there blew over police punched license.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Joseph C Rome


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Average cost of lawyer: I'm not sure what the average is, but they do range from $2,000 to over $10,000. Money of course is an issue, but you really want to seek out an attorney that is right for you. Many good lawyers offer reasonable rates and even payment options.
    Average punishment: There are mandatory punishments if convicted, but each case is different. Depending on the case you may be able to have your DUI reduced where the punishment is a lot less severe. Without going over the case in detail it is hard to make an educated guess on what will happen.
    The good1: Speeding is not one of the 24 cues of DUI when the vehicle in motion.
    The good2: No field tests, good job!
    The good3: UW has video of the breath test room, no audio though... (Sort of bad).
    Since your license was punched and you blew over, don't forget you have 20 days to request a DOL hearing.

    Best of luck,



  2. Jonathan David Rands


    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Joe is correct in his assessment and in answering you, but also, one of the the best things for you to do is consult with as many attorneys as you can. Focus your attention on those of us who focus our practice on DUI defense. Do not let price alone dictate your sense of how good or how experienced they are. Conduct face to face consults and get a sense for yourself. Ask around and see what kind of reputation they have and then make your choice but do so with in 20 days of your arrest so that your attorney is selected and you and s/he can start preparing your dol defense. Good Luck.

  3. Andrew C Huff

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Like any profession, you will find a range of fees for DUI attorneys. But the money you spend on a good attorney is well spent considering the potential costs down the road if your case is not properly handled, including higher insurance rates. A DUI attorney should be defending those accusd of this crime on a regular basis and must be knowledgeable about the laws, penalties, insurance issues, case follow up, as well as a skilled trial lawyer and negotiator. Most first offense DUI cases don't go to trial and are negotiated by way of a plea bargain, such as reduced to a lesser offense. A skilled DUI attorney must analyze each case numerous times in order to find issues damaging to the Prosecutor's case. In addition to the criminal case, there is an administrative hearing with the Department of Licensing that must be properly handled by your attorney. Here to help.

  4. Patrick Owen Earl


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Do you homework and interview a few attorneys to get to know their personality and knowledge. If you like them ask about fees and then decide who will be your attorney. Obviously cost is an issue when it comes to hiring an attorney but realize that this is your future and you need to be comfortable with your attorney and with your ability to discuss the good and the bad about your case. Good luck to you.

  5. Victor Ro

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It could range anywhere from $900 - $10,000+.
    A first time DUI is in the category of a misdemeanor. Fines could be $5,000 + 364 days in jail. Notice I'm saying "could be".

    Call me now.

    Call Me Now! | THE RO FIRM, P.S.C. | "Results Matter" | Call Toll Free: 1-800-515-6818 | All... more
  6. James Eric Gaston

    Contributor Level 3


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I concur with all of the advice you have already been given, and in particular the advice about meeting face to face with multiple lawyers. Try to make your decision based upon your comfort level and the confidence you have in each lawyer. While price is obviously going to be a factor for many people, if possible it should be on the bottom of the list.

    A competent, experienced, lawyer is going to get you the best result, but even more importantly the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are in good hands. You cannot know this without spending some time to meet and interview as many different lawyers as you can - most of us offer a free consultation. Best of luck to you as you put this matter behind you.

Related Topics

DUI: An overview

The definition, charges, and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) vary by state and depend on a number of factors.

DUI and DWI defenses

After you are arrested for DUI, getting the charges against you dropped or reduced will require you to develop a defense.

Randy Collins

California DUI Under Age 21

Definition California DUI Under Age 21, as the name suggests, is when a minor drinks and drives under the influence of alcohol. More specifically, Californias Zero Tolerance laws define... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

29,515 answers this week

3,173 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

29,515 answers this week

3,173 attorneys answering