How Much Does a NY DWI Attorney Cost?

December 30, 2014

Allow me to answer your question with a few questions of my own (I am a lawyer after all):

What’s more important to you: Saving a few bucks on a cheap(er) attorney?  Or keeping your driver’s license?  Keeping your job?  Protecting your future?  Keeping your freedom?

An attorney’s fee is obviously a very important consideration when deciding who should represent you in your DWI case (or any criminal case for that matter).  But that’s all it should be, a consideration.  To hire an attorney based on fee alone may be the biggest mistake you could ever make in your life.   And if you make the wrong choice, it could very well cost you some of the most important things in your life.   It’s your life.  You should want to fight for it and do what needs to be done to have the best opportunity to protect it.

That doesn’t mean you should run out and hire the most expensive attorney you can find thinking that by handing over your life savings your case will automatically be dismissed!  But it does mean you shouldn’t balk at the attorney who has a slightly higher fee than others.  Instead, ask yourself why they charge more.  Check that.  Ask the attorney why he or she charges more!  If they can’t give you a legitimate explanation, well, then grab your coat and hat and get the hell out of there.

But any acceptable explanation should educate you as the potential client as to that particular attorney’s experience as a DWI defense attorney.  Note that I said experience specifically as a DWI defense attorney , not just experience as an everyday “defense attorney”.  Remember Venn Diagrams from school?  Think of it like that:

All DWI defense attorneys are criminal defense attorneys; but not all criminal defense attorneys are DWI defense attorneys.

An attorney who has more experience defending DWI clients should charge a little more than another attorney who doesn’t, don’t you think?  All of those years of experience are valuable; they’re worth something, not just to the attorney, but to you as the client!

  • Experienced DWI defense attorneys know what to look for; they know where the potential problems are and where potential points may be scored against the prosecution.
  • They know the Assistant District Attorneys who prosecute DWI offenses; which ones negotiate and how best to do it.
  • They know the individual judges and their personal policies and pitfalls with respect to DWI cases.
  • They know the arresting officers, not just from seeing their names on the paperwork, but from interacting with them at hearings and trials; they know how the officers will react on the stand.
  • They know how chemical test machines work, what the potential problems with the machines are, and what all those pages with all the little numbers all over the place mean (and what the little numbers themselves mean!).
  • They know how each consequence of each conviction or disposition will affect every client.
  • They understand and can explain to you what actions the DMV will take in certain circumstances and how that might affect your overall case.
  • They know how to handle a refusal and what happens at a refusal hearing, and how the result of that hearing will affect your criminal cases.
  • And countless other nuances to DWI defense that the unfamiliar attorney who merely dabbles in DWI defense will never understand.


All of that experience and knowledge significantly increases your chance of getting a decent resolution (although, as with all things in life and Vegas, there is never a guarantee).

So, really, wouldn’t you want the person who knows more than the other guy about something that can quite possibly affect the rest of your life?  And those few extra dollars you spend now on the attorney worth his or her salt in DWI defense could actually end up saving you hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars at the conclusion of your case.

The DWI defense attorneys at Catalano & Carpenter LLP strive to provide exemplary service to all of our clients, DWI and otherwise.  Sure, sometimes we’re a little more expensive than some other attorneys in the area (and sometimes we’re not), but no matter what the fee or the case, our clients can rest assured they are receiving the highest service we can possibly provide.

If you or someone you care about has been charged with DWI, call the experienced DWI defense attorneys at Catalano & Carpenter LLP at (845) 454-1919 today or visit us at to schedule a free no obligation consultation.