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How Much Do DWI Lawyers Charge in Minnesota?

A night out with friends can quickly become a costly experience if you are arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) on your way home. There are steep costs that come not only with being convicted of DWI, but also of fighting these charges. One of those expenses is the DWI Lawyer Charges.

Curious about how much DWI lawyers charge in Minnesota? The good news is that you do not have to wonder alone. When you consult with an attorney it is a good idea to ask them what they charge. This can prevent any misunderstandings from happening in the future.

The attorneys of Gerald Miller believe in transparency when it comes to legal fees. Before you hire us to handle your case, you have the opportunity to discuss your options during a free consultation. Reach out for a free consultation today.


How Do Minnesota Attorneys Bill in Criminal Cases?

There is no simple answer to the question “how much do DWI lawyers charge in Minnesota?” There are countless attorneys that handle DWI cases throughout the state, and each of them selects their own way to bill clients. While there is no uniform cost for a DWI defense, you can expect to pay at least $1,000 for even straightforward DWI cases. The way these attorneys choose to bill will depend on the specific method they use.

No matter the approach an attorney uses to bill in your case, it is important that both sides are on the same page up front. Any confusion regarding billing could not only impact your life, but could also complicate your defense strategy. The best bet is to discuss billing options during your initial consultation with a prospective attorney.

Flat Fees

It is not uncommon for attorneys to take on DWI cases for a flat fee. DWIs are some of the most common types of criminal cases, and some attorneys solely focus their legal practice on this area of the law. An attorney that routinely handles DWI cases might agree to do so for a flat rate. Typically, attorneys require their fee to be paid upfront in order to take a case.

It is worth noting that while flat fees are common in some cases like traffic tickets or DWIs, not all criminal attorneys will offer flat fee payment options. This is especially true in complex cases that are likely to take years to resolve. The more complex a case, the less likely an attorney is willing to take it on for a flat fee.

Hourly Billing

Many attorneys across all areas of the law rely on hourly billing. As the name suggests, hourly billing involves an attorney charging their hourly rate based on the amount of time they spend working on a case. This approach can be costly, which can be problematic for some defendants facing a DWI charge in Minnesota.

Hybrid Billing

Some attorneys turn to a hybrid approach for billing in DWI cases. This approach can borrow from other billing methods. For example, many attorneys will agree to take a DWI case on a flat fee basis, but only if the case resolves quickly. An attorney could charge a flat fee while attempting to resolve the case early on, but switch to an hourly billing approach should the case go to trial.

Another hybrid billing approach involves varying flat fees. For example, an attorney might have one flat fee if the case settles early. That fee could go up to a higher level if the case requires a motion hearing or a trial.


Other Ways Attorneys Can Bill

There are other ways that attorneys charge for their fees. These options are common in personal injury law, but they are not an option in criminal defense. The most common example is billing on a contingency fee. With a contingency fee, an attorney takes on a case for a promise of keeping a portion of anything they collect on behalf of their client. Since there is no financial recovery in criminal defense, this option is not realistic for DWI lawyers.


Factors That Impact What an Attorney Charges in Minnesota

The fee that one attorney charges to handle a DWI case in Minnesota could be very different from another attorney. There are many different factors that can impact what an attorney ultimately charges for their fee. Understanding these factors could help with the process of hiring an attorney for your DWI case.


The level of experience an attorney has is one of the primary factors in what they charge. Attorneys who have been practicing for years are more likely to have developed a strong client base. This in turn allows these attorneys to charge more.

Experienced lawyers are also likely to have more expenses compared to new attorneys. As a law firm grows, its infrastructure and support staff grow with it. These growing expenses can require an attorney to charge more when defending a DWI case.


An attorney’s reputation is not the same thing as their experience. Reputation refers to how well-known an attorney is to the general public. Attorneys that have developed a reputation as strong legal advocates often command higher fees, as they are more in demand. An attorney could earn a reputation despite not having as much experience as some competitors.

The Complexity of the Case

One of the reasons attorneys will often consult with a potential client before setting out their fee structure is that the complexity of the case is important. If a case is straightforward and likely to resolve in a guilty plea, an attorney might charge less compared to a situation where a trial is likely. The more complex a case is, the more likely an attorney will ask for a higher fee.


The place where an attorney is located is also a factor in the fee they charge. For example, attorneys who practice in an area with a high cost of living are likely to charge more.

There is also a question of whether an attorney is “local.” Some people select legal counsel that is not based in their area. If an attorney has to travel in order to defend your DWI case, you can count on their fees being higher compared to a local attorney.


Other Expenses Besides Legal Fees in Minnesota

DWI cases are costly—and those costs go beyond an attorney’s fee. These costs can be significant if you are ultimately convicted. In addition to paying for a lawyer, a conviction will lead to court costs and fines that could run in the thousands of dollars.

There are also costs associated with your driver’s license. If your license is revoked due to a DWI arrest, you will be responsible for the fees that come with reinstating that license. You could also be forced to pay for the cost of towing your vehicle after a DWI arrest.

Your DWI could have an indirect impact on your financial position as well. If you are convicted, you could lose your job or find it difficult to obtain future employment. Employers have the right to discriminate based on your criminal record, and many will choose to do so.

The best option for avoiding these additional costs is by preventing a conviction. With the help of your attorney, you could prevail in your case and avoid all of these expenses entirely. The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand what it takes to win a DWI trial, and we are ready to help you build the strongest defense case possible. Reach out right away to discuss your options.


Contact Gerald Miller About DWI Lawyer Charges in Minnesota

It is impossible to estimate what a potential attorney might charge for your Minnesota DWI case. Every attorney has their own fee structure, and the specifics of your case could impact what they charge.

The cost of an attorney might seem prohibitive for some people, but it is important to look at it as an investment in your freedom. Avoiding a DWI conviction could have a significant financial impact on your future, and a conviction could cost you far more than what you might pay an attorney. If you are ready to discuss your case, reach out to the attorneys of Gerald Miller today for a free consultation.


Related Content: Do I Need to Hire DWI Lawyers Near Me for DUI/DWI Charge?

About the author

Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller is a top-notch and experienced DWI/DUI lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. in Minneapolis, MN. He has more than 35 years of experience in Criminal Defense practice. He has also been a mentor to numerous DUI/DWI defense attorneys.

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