How much does a DUI lawyer cost in PA?

Truthfully, the cost of legal representation can vary greatly. Each DUI case may involve different fines and penalties. For this reason, we can’t tell you exactly how much your case would cost before speaking with you.

However, we can tell you that Kellis Law Firm is one of the state’s most acclaimed and affordable DUI defense firms.

If you’re wondering how much a DUI attorney costs, a better question is, “How much would it cost me not to hire an attorney?” As we discuss below, it could make much more financial sense to hire an attorney and fight the charge than to accept it and be at the mercy of the state prosecutor.

Keep reading for more information. Call Kellis Law Firm at (215) 977-4183 if you were charged with DUI.

how much does a dui lawyer cost in pa

Average cost of a DUI lawyer nationwide

According to consumer-provider matching site Thervo, the average national cost for a DUI lawyer is $1,900.

Now, before you write that off as “way too much money,” consider how much you’ll likely have to pay for the DUI itself, in terms of fines, fees, alcohol safety courses, and more.

Thervo sets the national minimum cost for a DUI attorney at $700 and the maximum at $5,000. The $700 figure represents the low-end cost of accepting a plea deal; $1,500 is the estimated high-end cost. Going to trial, on average, will cost you $1,500 to $4,000.

Remember that a $700 lawyer may only exercise some of the options available to them in having your charge dropped or reduced. When it comes to a possible jail sentence and heavy fines, you don’t want to go in with the mindset that “cheaper is better.”

Fines for DUI are steep in Pennsylvania

The more DUIs you have, the higher the fines.

First offense

Pennsylvania has a $300 minimum and $500 maximum fine for first-time DUI offenders. This lowest level is known as a “general impairment” DUI and pertains to drivers with a BAC of at least .08% but less than .10%.

But those are just the penalties for the lowest possible BAC. Drivers with a BAC between .10 and .16% (High Rate) will face more significant fines. Depending on their specific blood alcohol level, drivers who fall under this category of DUI will face fines between $500 and $5,000.

Drivers with the highest BAC levels (.16% or more) face higher fines and other penalties if they:

  • Refuse breathalyzer testing
  • Have controlled substances in their system at the time of arrest

However, these are just the court-ordered penalty fees. No matter your BAC level, you may be required to pay court fees for handling your case, which can range from $150 to $1,000 or more.

Convictions will lead to a mandatory Court Reporting evaluation period, typically handled by a probation officer, which will also lead to monthly fees (around $35 for a minimum of six months). Restoring your license can cost you $75 to $88 at PennDOT.

On top of all this, first-time offenders are required to attend Alcohol Highway Safety School, sometimes colloquially known as “DUI school,” which can charge between $200 and $1000 for a set of classes.

So, in total, just looking at low-end direct costs as a result of mandatory requirements, here are the first offense DUI fines you may face for your first DUI charge in Pennsylvania:

  • BAC .08 – .099%: $935 – $1,135
  • BAC .10 – .159%: $1,135 – $5,635
  • BAC above .16%: $1,635 – $5,635.

Those are steep debts to pay, but with the help of an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney, you can have them greatly reduced. Just because you made a mistake and drove under the influence doesn’t mean you have to fall into debt.

Let attorney Steven Kellis handle your case and work towards penalty reduction.

Second offense

If this is your second DUI offense, you’re going to face harsher penalties and steeper fines than before. A general impairment DUI (BAC between .08 and .099%) will yield fines between $300 and $2,500. That’s significantly higher than the maximum fine for first-time general impairment offenders, and without a lawyer, it’s unlikely that you’ll only have to pay $300.

If your second offense falls under High Rate DUI (BAC between .10 and .159%), you’ll face fines between $750 and $5,000.

If your second offense falls under Highest Rate DUI (BAC of .16% or greater), you’ll have to pay fines between $1,500 and $10,000.

Third or subsequent offense

Third-offense DUIs carry the highest fines and penalties. You’ll have to pay $500 to $5,000 for a third or subsequent offense under general impairment.

For a third offense under High Rate DUI, you’ll have to pay $1,500 to $10,000; for a third-time Highest Rate DUI, you’ll be subject to pay $2,500 to $10,000 in fines.

Again, those are just the court-ordered penalty fees. For third or subsequent DUIs you’ll likely have to pay upwards of $20,000. Considering the median household income of $61,744 in Pennsylvania, DUI charges often leave individuals and families in financial ruin.

Don’t risk losing more money; call DUI attorney Steven Kellis today.

Weighing the total cost of your DUI offense

In addition to the costs outlined above, secondary costs should be considered. For instance, your state-mandated minimum liability coverage insurance premiums are likely to rise after you get a DUI conviction. These premium hikes can account for thousands a year.

You could be looking at more than $10,000 in associated fees after your arrest – and that’s just for a first-time DUI. The total cost of all fees, penalties, and fines related to your second, third, or subsequent DUI will likely exceed $20,000.

These high costs are precisely the reason that anyone arrested for driving under the influence should find a reputable Pennsylvania DUI lawyer. The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis offers free case consultations, so call (215) 977-4183 if you or someone close to you is arrested for DUI. You may call the number listed above to learn more about PA DUI lawyer fees.

Why hire a DUI attorney?

A simple DUI case may be resolved quickly, while a more complex one could be longer and more involved. In every case, it’s best to choose a DUI attorney with experience working specifically on DUI cases. This will give you the best representation at the best price.

However, it’s important to note that an attorney will be cheaper than the DUI charge itself after expenses like increased insurance prices are factored in.

Contact us today for a free consultation if you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI. Our expert staff will analyze your case and recommend different legal steps—call (215) 977-4183 now.