Skip to main content

What is the average retainer fees for a dui charge with a bac of .140 and .138

Spokane, WA |

Received a dui on 03/31/12 and dwls 3rd degree in Pullman WA WSU police. What do attorneys usually charge for retainers in such matters?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


There are inexperienced, fly by night, hacks that will charge as little as $1500.00. There are full service DUI firms that provide every possible service (whether tou need it or not) starting at 10K. Price will also vary bu location with Seattle/Bellevue corridor being the most expensive. For quality service you should expect to pay 3-6 thousand.


$5,000 is not an unreasonable retainer for a quality lawyer who has every intention of defending the case vigorously, and not plea bargaining it.


I will agree with the 2 attorneys before me in every manner except that in many cases a plea bargain at some point or another is very worth your while.
A attorney who knows how to show you are "recovering" is also a large asset.

This is not legal advice. If order to give you legal advice i would need to see the Tickets and talk to the court first. Good luck:)


Assuming you have no prior alcohol/drug related charges, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $5,000 for your defense. These fees will be based upon both the experience of the attorney you hire and the complexity of your case. As someone who regularly practices throughout Eastern Washington including Pullman/Colfax and Spokane, I must respectfully disagree with the folks who refer to those charging $1,500 for DUI representation "fly-by-nights and hacks." There are many excellent attorneys who for various reasons, including the individual needs of the client, who may charge reduced fees at their discretion. The most important element when discussing your case with an attorney in NOT what they charge, but whether they are experienced in defending DUI's and how well they communicate with you. If they can't/won't explain legal issues in terms you understand before you pay them money, it's not likely they'll do so after you pay them.

James J White

James J White


Mr. Cooney, it sounds as if you took my comments personally. My apologies.


Criminal Defense Attorneys generally charge "flat fees" for their services. This way you know how much the case is going to cost you up front. Some attorneys require a retainer towards the fee and will allow you to make payments, others may require the entire fee up front.

The range of fees varies enormously, from $1000 to $25,000. The quality of attorney varies just as much. Price is not always an indicator of quality. The best way to pick an attorney is to set up interviews with at least 3 attorneys in your area that have good reputations and specialize in DUI. Interview all 3 before making a decision. After this you will have a good idea whether you need to interview more attorneys or pick from one of the three. Beware of hard sell attorneys. There is no decision so urgent that you need to make it on the spot.

Good Luck!

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer