Compare DUI and DWI Attorney Costs and Legal Fees


Learn about approximate Lawyer and Attorney costs, filing fees and other related expenses you’ll pay for various types of DUI and DWI legal costs.

Drinking and driving and underage drinking can be very serious offenses if not handled by a qualified DUI attorney. If you are charged with any of the offenses we have outlined below, on this page of the, we will explain more about drinking laws and help you approximate how much it is likely to cost for representation.  This guide covers the following topics:


When you are charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired, it is imperative that you hire an attorney because these are criminal offenses. A DUI attorney can help fight your case by trying to find fault in the actual arrest or incorrect testing procedures. A police officer cannot stop you to investigate a DUI unless they have cause or reasonable suspicion that you might be under the influence. Reasonable suspicion could be that you failed to stop, are swerving or not using your signals. This defense is commonly used because it depends only on the officers word and there are usually no witnesses. Uncalibrated or improperly operated breathalyzer tests are commonly used as a defense as well because they have a proven history of not being reliable. This defense is most often used when a blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or very close to the legal limit as there is room for error. In many cases, especially with a first time offender, DUI cases are settled in the form of plea bargaining or pleading guilty to a more minor offense.

Felony DUI means you have caused harm, seriously injured or killed someone while drinking and driving. This is the most serious DUI you can receive and in most circumstances you will serve time in prison. However, the help of a DUI attorney could help to lesson the severity of jail time.

Average Cost
Driving While Impaired (DWI)
 $2,000 – $4,000
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
 $2,000 – $4,000
Felony DUI or DWI
 $7,500 – $10,000

Underage Drinking and Possession

Underage drinking related convictions are no joke. If you have a teen that is charged with any underage drinking charges such as possession of alcohol, underage DUI, underage drinking and using a fake ID to buy alcohol, it can cause many issues. These include; drivers license revocation, suspension from school or college, inability to receive scholarships or financial aid and lengthy probation periods.

If your teen is over the age of 18, but under the age of 21, the repercussions could be life changing and cause the inability to get a job, get a loan or even buy a home as you will have a criminal record the rest of your life. As a minor, if you receive a Felony DUI, you will suffer the same consequences as someone who is over the age of 21, be treated as an adult and likely serve prison time.

A DUI attorney may be able to help by getting charges reduced, plea to a lesser charge and can sometimes get the charges dropped.

Underage Drinking and Possession
Average Cost
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
 $450 – $750
Underage Drinking
 $500 – $800
Underage DUI
 $2,000 – $3,000
Providing False Identification
 $500 – $750

Open Container and Public Intoxication

While both open container and public intoxication seem like minor offenses, you can be ticketed for both which can effect future employment, and repeated offenses will be treated with a heavier hand. If you are charged with public intoxication in most likelihood, you were falling down drunk in public, not a little buzzed. Also called disorderly conduct, it falls under the umbrella of any minor infraction which is viewed by the public, like a restaurant, sidewalk or nightclub.

Open container laws pertain to having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle or even while walking down the street or lying on the beach relaxing. This law is commonly used in conjunction with a DUI, but you can be ticketed even if you have not had a drink.  Both open container and public intoxication tickets can usually be knocked down to lesser infractions with the help of a lawyer.

Open Container and Public Intoxication
Average Cost
Open Container
 $1,250 – $2,500
Public Intoxication
 $1,200 – $2,500

DUI Court Costs and Filing Fees

While there are many fees involved with drinking tickets these charges are most often included in what your attorney charges you and you have little other involvement with the court without your representative being present.

Other Incidental DUI Expenses

The cost of a DUI related ticket is most often absorbed into the cost you pay your attorney to fight it but they will usually charge an initial consultation fee.  However, there will be a few extras depending upon the severity of your charges and what the outcome is. Background checks are common in drinking tickets primarily to show if you have ever been charged with a similar or related crime.

Substance abuse counseling is almost always mandated by the court. If you are under the age of 21, most counseling can be completed in your high school or college and is recognized by the court. If you are an adult, the court will most likely give you a few options where you can complete your one time counseling, but ongoing counseling could be mandated. More severe cases where a plea has been reached you may to attend a 8-12 week rehabilitation program. These can be very expensive and you will have to pay for it out of pocket.

Incidental DUI Related Expenses
Average Cost
Background check
$10 – $25
Substance abuse counseling
$75 – $150 – $75/session
Consultation Fees $75 – $100
Rehabilitation  $4,000 – $6,000

Visitor Submitted DUI Legal Costs

Our visitors will often submit the actual costs they have had to pay to be defended in a DUI or similar case. We use these to provide the averages that you see in our comparison tables and help other readers learn more about what others are paying around the U.S. Please take a moment to submit the actual costs you paid for your legal defense. It is quick, easy and really helps! Your information is safe with us and we never provide personal information on our site.

DUI Legal Costs Paid by Others
City, State
Actual Cost
Fake ID, Possession of Alcohol Underage
Dayton, OH
Note: 17 year old used fake ID to buy alcohol. Youth attended alcohol counseling & completed 48 hrs community service.
Driving Under the Influence
Tampa, FL
Note: Blood Alcohol Level .10, license revoked for 1 yr, received driving privileges for work, performed 120 hrs community service
Public Intoxication, Disturbing the Peace
Greenville, SC $1,350
Note: Charged for being drunk and belligerent to people on the street, received probation, community service, attended counseling

Submit your DUI Legal Costs to the Comparison Table

** We never share your personal information. We do edit the wording in our visitor submissions for spelling and grammar errors before posting onto the website.