If you have been arrested for a DUI or driving under the influence you may face severe penalties and fines if you are convicted. Whether or not to plead guilty or to fight the DUI charges is a decision that should only be made after talking to a DUI lawyer, but many drivers are concerned about the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer. This blog will address issues related to the cost.
Cost to hire a DUI lawyer will vary. Just like other areas of law, the cost will vary based on the reputation and experience of the lawyer and where the lawyer practices. It is not uncommon for DUI lawyers in large metropolitan areas to charge more than a DUI lawyer who has a practice in a small city, but there are a variety of factors that will determine the full cost.
Factors affecting the cost of Hiring a DUI lawyer
How much a DUI lawyer will cost to hire will primarily depend on the complexity of the case and how much time they will have to devote to the drunk driving case. Some lawyers may choose to take fewer clients but will charge more per case because they plan to devote more hours to each case. Other lawyers may charge less per case but devote little time to your case.
Fees to hire a private DUI lawyer may range from $750 up to $10,000. As you can see, the fee range is substantial. The highest fees will be charged by DUI lawyers who have a national reputation. Other factors include:
- Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony charge.
- Whether you have prior convictions.
- The fee may or may not include trial or appeals – If your drunk driving case goes to trial or you lose at trial and file an appeal the fees can be substantially higher.
- Administrative license suspension procedures may also be extra – If you hire a DUI lawyer to challenge an administrative license suspension after you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test (BAC) or you fail a test the DUI lawyer may charge additional fees, which are not included in the cost of fighting the criminal charges.
- The lawyer may charge a fixed fee, or he may ask for a retainer in advance which could be applied against hourly charges.
- The DUI lawyer may also charge additional fees if they need to hire witnesses, request independent blood analysis, or issue subpoenas.
How do I find the right drunk driving lawyer at the right price?
The best thing to do is to interview several DUI lawyers in your area. Friends and family members may also be able to provide a referral. Make sure to get a written fee quote and written agreement. Prior to signing any documents sure you understand what services are provided for the quoted price.
Some DUI lawyers may also be willing to provide a payment plan. If you need this type of service discuss this with them at your first consultation.
Do I have to hire a DUI lawyer?
You do not have to hire a DUI lawyer, but if you have multiple DUI convictions, you were driving with a minor in the car or you face aggravated DUI penalties, talking to a lawyer is highly recommended.