If you've just been arrested for drunk driving in Colorado, one question you probably have is "how much is this going to cost me?" There are many different types of fees associated with getting a DUI, such as court fees, criminal fines, filing fees and DMV hearing fees. There are also, of course, attorney fees. Unlike court fees and other official document fees, there is no set minimum or maximum that an attorney can charge for handling your DUI. Every lawyer is different.
All DUI attorneys will calculate costs based on the following factors:
- How many hours they spent on your case. Whether or not an attorney charges by the hour, the amount of time they spent researching, compiling and defending your case will play a significant role when calculating total costs.
- Costs incurred by the attorney. To build your case, a DUI lawyer might do things like obtain expert witnesses, have blood samples re-analyzed, requesting copies of police reports and more. All of these things cost money, which is part of how your total attorney fees are calculated.
- The overall difficulty of your case. If you're facing a felony DUI involving injury, you'll likely be paying more for defense than someone facing a first-time misdemeanor DUI.
At the cheapest, a DUI lawyer might charge $250 for his or her services, but this low of a fee is usually associated with a quick guilty plea. Since attorney fees for DUI cases vary so greatly from case to case, it might be helpful to consider other fees that come with a DUI charge.
When you're arrested for DUI, you're taken to jail. If you don't want to remain there until your hearing, and most if not all people do not, you'll have to post bail or have someone pay it for you. Bail is set at a different amount in proportion with the offense. And, according to CRS § 16-4-105, the amount of bail shall not be oppressive and shall not exceed the maximum penalty for the DUI charge.
Vehicle Towing / Impoundment
Your car has to go somewhere after you're arrested for drunk driving. Law enforcement will call a tow truck to pick up your vehicle and impound it in a lot. There will be a towing cost and an impoundment fee to get your vehicle back.
Increased Insurance Rates
A DUI conviction can remain on your record for years, but it also counts against your insurance. In extreme cases, your insurer may choose to cancel your insurance policy because they see you as a liability. In most other cases, your insurance rates can increase and remain at that rate for three to five years.
Criminal fines for DUI in Colorado differ depending on the type of DUI charge, the degree and any extenuating circumstances (such as prior DUIs). For example, a first-time DUI costs between $600 and $1,000 in Colorado while a second DUI can cost up to $1,500.
Alcohol Education Programs
In some cases, the state might require that a defendant participate in a series of alcohol education classes. The total fee for this program will differ depending on how many classes you are required to attend as well as the specific program you enroll in. This can cost anywhere from $150 to $2,000.
Ignition Interlock Devices
In some, not all, DUI cases, defendants will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle to prevent future drunk driving. There are a variety of different approved IID installation companies, but according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the average annual cost of an IID in Colorado is $800-$1,000.
License Reinstatement Fee
In the state of Colorado, the license reinstatement fee is $95. There may also be additional fees for the actual license and paperwork to provide evidence of insurance.
The state of Colorado imposes more fees than most other states do for DUI. In The Centennial State, if you get charged with a DUI you may also face a jailing fee, pay into the Victim Assistance and Compensation Fund, pay into the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund and more.
What are the average DUI attorney costs nationwide?
A DUI or DWI attorney might charge anywhere from $100 to $300 per hour. Many can be hired directly over the phone and even accept credit cards for their services. If the attorney asks for a retainer, he or she will deduct their hourly rate from the retainer as work is done. Once the retainer is exhausted, you will be billed for any additional hours. Some Colorado Springs DUI attorneys will offer a free initial consultation to go over the facts of the case while others will charge an hourly rate for that time.
A first-time charge of DUI/DWI, when there are no disputed facts and the defendant intends to plead guilty, is usually around $500 to $1,200, but many experienced DUI lawyers may charge an hourly fee. You may find that some law firms charge higher fees than average when people seek help with a DUI charge, but this may be their way of keeping a manageable base of customers.
For repeat offenders, legal fees start around $1,500 -$5,000, which will depend upon the number of past convictions and the complexity of the case. Repeated offenses often carry heavier penalties, and in many states a third DUI/DWI charge is automatically a felony.
Contact our firm for affordable DUI services!
With so many other fees to worry about, you may be wondering how you can afford to pay an attorney. Thankfully, at Clawson & Clawson, LLP, we offer flexible payment options.
We are a high-quality law firm but also understand that not everyone can easily afford to pay thousands of dollars to fight their DUI. Contact a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer at our firm to discuss payment so we can arrive at a solution that is right for you.