How much does a Houston DWI lawyer cost? If you’re asking yourself this question, then you’re probably facing a DWI charge, adding up the cost of the court fees, fines, as well as the fees that a lawyer might charge you, and you’re wondering if there’s any way you’re going to make it out of this ordeal with your saving or your freedom intact. 

Before we get into how much a DWI costs, including the prices of Houston DWI lawyers, we should acknowledge that facing a DWI can be a terrifying ordeal. Questions about your future and finances might be swirling in your head. And while this article covers the details of a DWI charge and hiring a lawyer, a DWI lawyer is the best person to answer your questions.

If you’re concerned about your future and want to combat the chaos, call the skilled attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000. We’re standing by to help you turn uncertainty into action, and get you on the road to normalcy once again. 

What is a DWI?

So, what is a DWI? You’ll face a DWI charge in the Lone Star State if you’re caught driving in a public place with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal alcohol limit in Texas, which is 0.08%. Depending on your body, it can only take as few as one to two drinks to reach this BAC. 

The fine amount of up to $2,000 is associated with first-time offenders with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.15%.

If you are caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.15% or are being charged with intoxication manslaughter or assault, then you will likely be facing steeper penalties and criminal fines up to $10,000 depending on your case.

Do I need a lawyer for a DWI in Texas?

Although you technically don’t need a lawyer for a DWI in Texas, you do if you want to have a good chance of preserving your freedom. DWI charges have severe consequences and without a skilled DWI lawyer in your corner, you don’t stand a chance of avoiding them. Here are a few reasons why you need a lawyer when facing DWI charges in Texas. 

  1. The prosecution will not go easy on you. The Lone Star State is tough on DWI, and if you aren’t intimately familiar with the court system and the trial process, you’ll get left behind fast. 
  2. You could lose a lot of money. It is a huge misconception that you can save money by not hiring a DWI lawyer. You’ll spend an insane amount of money on court fees and fines, and then be left with the hidden costs of a DWI. 
  3. The hidden costs of a DWI will not go away. They include difficulty finding a job, finding housing, and irreparable damage to your personal and professional life. 
  4. You could end up in jail. Even if it was your first DWI, if there were any aggravating factors present, you will likely be facing jail time as punishment. 

Without a lawyer, you will have no friends at the courthouse, and no one to advocate on your behalf. The fact of the matter is that your lawyer is the only thing that stands between you, and the merciless aftermath of being passed through the criminal justice system — so yes, we do think you need a lawyer for a DWI in Texas. 

Continue reading: Do I Need a Lawyer for a DWI in Texas?

How much can a single DWI conviction cost in Texas?

How much does a DWI ticket cost in Texas? The amount of criminal fines you’ll have to pay will depend on whether there are prior offenses, driver age, aggravating factors, whether a child under the age of 15 was in the car, and whether anyone was hurt.

If convicted, you can expect to pay a criminal fine of at least:

OffenseMaximum criminal fine
DWI first offense$2,000
DWI second offense$4,000
DWI third offense$10,000
DWI with a child passenger$10,000
Intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter$10,000

It’s important to keep in mind that these fines are the maximum criminal fines for a conviction for each offense although they are not the minimum, as you may be charged additional fines and fees, including the driver’s license surcharges levied by the Texas Department of transportation:

OffenseAnnual feeTotal fee
DWI first offense$1,000$3,000
DWI second offense$1,500$4,500
DWI with over 0.15 blood alcohol content in Texas$2,000$6,000

Additional DWI costs

Other potential costs to consider for a drunk driving offense in Texas can include:

  • Fines, surcharges, court costs, and lawyer fees
  • Jail time or prison sentences, perhaps even for a first offense
  • Bail bonds
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • License reinstatement fees
  • SCRAM device (ankle monitor) costs
  • Community service
  • Intervention and alcohol education programs for drunk driving
  • SR-22 costs
  • More costly auto insurance
  • Vehicle impound and towing fees

Being convicted or even accused of a DWI is nothing to take lightly. The penalties are at an all-time high and can cost you thousands of dollars. If you’ve been charged with a DWI in Texas, don’t wait to reach out to Thiessen Law Firm. 

Our experienced DWI attorneys will work tirelessly to help you navigate the legal system, save your license, and reduce or remove penalties. We’re here to fight for your rights and your reputation.

How much is a DWI lawyer in Houston?

Houston DWI lawyer costs and fees will vary greatly depending on who you hire and, generally speaking, the better they are, the more they will cost. This is not to say that you should be paying unreasonable prices to hire good attorneys, but that if your case is increasingly complex and time-consuming, or if you have a colorful criminal history, you can expect to be playing a little more. 

We don’t know many people who paid for a good attorney and ever grew to regret it, just look at our Google Reviews and Notable Victories. At Thiessen Law Firm, we have multiple attorneys at multiple price points, but all of them give their clients the same one-on-one attention and offer the same level of preparation and dedication — and all of them get results. 

What to do after getting a DWI in Texas?

If you’ve been charged with a DWI in Texas and are wondering what to do next, stick to the following steps to make your and your attorney’s lives as easy as possible. 

  1. Do not talk to anyone other than your attorney. Everything you say to the police, to the insurance company, or to anyone, really, can and will be used against you. 
  2. Have your attorney request an ALR hearing. If they don’t you could be looking at a mandatory license revocation, and having your license revoked means you could be put in jail for driving. 
  3. Pay your fees and attend your court dates. If you don’t you could stumble into a conviction for a winnable case. 
  4. Do not do anything without a winning attorney at your side.

It’s not over until it’s over, as long as you keep to yourself and hire an attorney who can successfully defend your freedom. You should also keep in mind that you can make it a lot easier for your DWI attorney to win your case if you’re on your best behavior after your arrest. 

FAQs about Texas DWI penalties and the cost of a DWI

How much is bail for DWI in Texas?

Bail for DWI in Texas will depend on the DWI charge and your criminal history. Bail for a first offense DWI generally sits anywhere from the high hundreds to the low thousands, while bail for a second DWI in Texas can range from the mid to high thousands

If you were charged with felony DWI, whether because of repeat offenses or aggravating factors, you can expect your bail to start around $10,000. It can even go as high as $50 to $100,000 for intoxication manslaughter charges. 

How long does a DWI stay on your record in Texas?

A DWI conviction will stay on your record forever in Texas, but if you are not convicted, you still have some hope. Here are a few scenarios in which a DWI will come off your record in Texas:

  • Your case is dismissed (and for this, you’ll need a damn good DWI lawyer)
  • You complete a deferred adjudication program
  • You are tried and found not guilty
  • You were originally arrested as a minor

If none of these apply to your case, a conviction for DWI will unfortunately stay on your record forever. 

Continue reading about what shows up on a Texas background check

How much does a first-time DWI cost in Texas?

It’s hard to give a set number for how much a DWI in Texas first offense will cost in total as it depends on your case, penalties, lawyer fees, etc. That said, the cost of being convicted of a first offense DWI has a maximum fine of $2,000 plus any additional fees or penalties. 

Can you get a DWI charge reduced in Texas?

With an aggressive DWI attorney on your side, it is possible to get a DWI charge reduced. Your attorney can negotiate for lesser charges, and penalties, and may even be able to get your case dismissed entirely.

Is jail time mandatory for the first DWI in Texas?

If you’re facing a DWI first offense in Texas, you could spend between 3 days and 180 days in jail. Other criminal penalties for a first offense DWI include a fine of up to $2,000, license suspension for up to 2 years, DWI intervention or education program, possible ignition interlock device, and community service. The severity of your punishments will depend on the judge’s jurisdiction.

At Thiessen Law Firm, a DWI lawyer’s cost will not stand in the way of your freedom. 

A Houston DWI lawyer’s cost might not seem so high once you consider the costs of a DWI conviction. Although a DWI conviction comes with steep fines, the real cost of conviction often lies in the hidden penalties and the damage that is done to your personal and professional lives. 

Without an attorney, you are left defenseless. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DWI in Houston, and you want a chance at beating the odds, you’ve got to hire the best DWI attorney Houston has to offer. 

Whether you’re facing charges of intoxication manslaughter or a DWI with CDL in Texas, Mark Thiessen and the Houston DWI attorneys at the Thiessen Law Firm are here for you. Call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 or contact us online to take the first step in defending your life. 

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Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.