There is an old saying that nothing is as expensive as a cheap lawyer. The idea is that if your lawyer doesn't take your case seriously, and knows the proper ways to defend you, you will end up paying more. This is certainly true in Criminal Cases, especially DWI (where even a first offense can cost more than $20,000). I have heard of lawyers who charge as little as $500 for helping a person out with their DWI case. While this sounds like a bargain, you always have to weigh what you are getting against what you are paying for. If this $500 lawyer does nothing to defend you, and simply encourages you to take the first deal offered by the prosecutor, have you really gotten a bargain? Or, have you just been swindled out of $500?


Everybody wants an excellent lawyer. However, nobody wants a lawyer so expensive they can't afford their own defense. While the Law Office of RC Pate is probably not the cheapest lawyer in town, we try not to be the most expensive either.

It is important that an affordable DWI lawyer still knows the law. They need to be aware of the different defenses available to you. Whether that is attacking the way the police came into contact with you, or attacking the blood science, you still want a capable lawyer. And you want somenoe who balances being a good lawyer against not charging an astronomical fee. The Law Office of RC Pate tries to balance those two things against each other.


There are a lot of different ways lawyers can charge you in a criminal case. Some charge by the hour they spend on the case. The upside to this type of billing is that you only pay for the services you are rendered in the case. Some cases take less time than others, so if you are one of those lucky few, you would pay substantially less than the norm. The downside to this payment arrangement is that it is hard to gauge how many hours a lawyer will spend on the case when it starts. You could end up with one of the cases that drags out for two to three years. At no fault of your own, you could end up having to pay for hundreds of hours of lawyer time. An unscrupulous lawyer could even intentionally drag out the case for this reason.

Another way lawyers could charge you is for milestones in the case. This scheme involves a down payment to get started, another payment to review the discovery, another to file a motion, this much more for trial. The upside to this is that you would only be charged for the type of work that is done on your case. The downside is that it sows distrust between the lawyer and client. At one point in time, I tried doing this type of payment plan for people looking for an affordable DWI Lawyer. What I found was that when I would recommend we go to the next step, the client was not 100% sure if I thought that was the best idea, or if that was just the way to get to the next payment step. I don't think representation works if we don't trust each other. For that reason, I no longer set up my payment plans in this fashion, though if you want to talk about it, we can do that.



DWI 1st or 2nd

  • $5,700
  • $1,700 down payment and $500 a month

Felony DWI with no injury
  • $12,200
  • $4,500 down payment and $700 a month

DWI with an injury or death
  • $47,00
  • $10,000 down payment and $1,000 a month



  • $5700

  • Drug SJF
    • $7500
  • 3rd Degree
    • $10,000
  • 2nd or above, CALL ME.

Motion to revoke probation
  • Misdemeanor
    • $750
  • Felony
    • $1,500


  • Expert
  • Filing Fees
  • Court Cost


Instead of the two above plans, we generally use an engagement contract. An engagement is a set fee for the whole of the case. Such a contract includes representation up and through a trial, should the client want one. Understand that only the client gets to decide if a case should settle or go to trial. The best upside to this type of contract is that you know how much the lawyer will cost you before you get into the case. It doesn't go up when you get to the next step. It also makes it very clear that only the client decides whether we go to the next step. There is no extra hurdle of a next payment.


We work with people on payment plans to try and make it affordable for everyone to get a great defense. Generally we do a down payment, then monthly payments thereafter to cover the balance. While I have ideas in mind of what those fees are, I'm always happy to talk to people about their specific financial situation is. While $1 a month is probably not going to get us covered, my idea is that I want to get paid but don't want to bankrupt you in the process. If you need an affordable DWI lawyer who wants to fight for you, I'm your guy.

If you need help with a case, call me today to discuss out payment plans. My guess is you can't afford not to.

Check out an example of our contract.