Published On: Wed, Jun 19th, 2019

What You Need to Know About the Costs and Penalties of First-Offense DUI

Many first-time offenders are going easy on their diving under the influence (DUI) offenses that even getting arrested due to these will not faze them at all. They always hold on to the idea that the law is somehow lenient to first-timers due to the leeways they still receive after caught in the act, which is somehow true.

Most states consider first-time DUIs as a misdemeanor offense, generally requiring an offender to be in a probation period, pay fines, do community service, have license suspensions, and others depending on one’s state. Other than these, here is a quick briefing of the costs, penalties, and other important information about first-offense DUI.


An approximate of $6, 500 is the average cost for a first-offense DUI. Costly, isn’t it? You might be wondering how and why. Let’s go for its breakdown. The most expensive parts of it will be allotted to the attorney’s fees, including the expected costs for public defenders, with an average fee of $1,900, and followed by court-ordered fines that can cost an average of  $1,100.

Here are other parts of the average cost will include: increased car insurance rates (average $800/year), alcohol education and traffic school courses (average $360), department of motor vehicles (DMV) fees (average $260), bail costs (average $150), and ignition interlock devices and towing and storage (both are $260).

Doing the math, everything (which is approximate) sums up to $5090 only for “first-offense” DUI legal proceedings. Where will the remaining money take place? It depends on the precise circumstances of an alleged crime. These may include one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level and the existence of accidents.

photo/ Floris via pixabay

Low-Down on Private Criminal Defense Attorney Service Costs

There are common factors on how criminal defense lawyers charge for their services, such as the possible complexity of the case, attorney’s experience, and geography.  First, the more difficult the situation, the more fees you need to expect.

When DUI charges go to trial, one should expect to pay much more. Often, lawyers charge more for felonies as they demand more preparation, and require many court appearances and penalties.

Moreover, a legal fee between 2,000 to 3,000 dollars is not surprising if you receive a misdemeanor charge that goes to trial. Cases involving single court appearances or mere consultation demands more payments for full representation.

Second, it is a standard status quo that those who have fewer experiences receive less payment, which applies to lawyers too. However, you need to be careful with a misleading extreme low hourly rate.

Most experienced lawyers have a higher hourly rate, but they can solve the case faster and better than those beginners who have a lower hourly rate, making them more economical in the long run. If looking for experienced attorneys, consult Legal Aed DUI lawyers.

Lastly, there are no standard legal fees due to some reasons like the cost of living in an area. The cost of legal proceedings significantly varies within one state, not only from state to state. Consumer Reports concluded that most lawyers charged approximately $1, 500 for median (fees more than others for the same charges) legal fees, which can still be changed based on the area.


The potential penalties will vary based on the circumstances involved in a case and on the state in which the crime takes place. DUI convictions can be considered a misdemeanor or felony, but both charges do not only include fees but also two or more of the following penalties.


  • Incarceration – Depending on the state, a misdemeanor DUI charge may require a defendant to stay up to one year in jail, while it can take more than a year for a felony offense.
  • Probation – Sentences of probation may last for at least 12 months or up to three years. The specified conditions on one’s punishment should be regularly abided, completed, or avoided with the guidance of a designated probation officer; otherwise, the court will impose more penalties.
  • License suspension – The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Court will suspend a driver’s license for three months to several years after a DUI arrest. The good thing is suspensions often overlap. Meaning, there is no need for offenders to finish a cumulative total of two suspensions from DMV and the Court.


Receiving financial and legal consequences after driving under the influence is already troublesome enough. Fully understanding DUI punishments are not enough; one should also be aware of how severe these consequences’ short-term and long-term will be.

A first-time conviction does not mean you have a terrible substance abuse issues, though. Nevertheless, there is a need to contemplate alcohol consumption after getting arrested due to DUI, so there will be no next time.

Author: Michael Aeds

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. me suba says:

    xisJAp It as hard to find expert persons by this matter, then again you sound like you already make out what you are talking about! Thanks

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