No matter the state you live in, drinking and driving laws are strict. No matter whether it’s called driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, or operating under the influence, you can expect penalties.
However, not all lawyer fees are the same. They depend on the value they give you, but in some cases, it’s the value you don’t get. The problem with DUI law is the time involved in fighting the cases. This creates a higher amount for some cases. Still, for very simple DUI cases, such as first time drinking and driving arrests, you rarely pay tens of thousands. In more complex cases, it can be more.
Aggravated DUI charges are a term used by many states for felony charges for drinking and driving. For example, you were drinking and driving, crashed into another car, and hurt or killed someone. You are now walking a very fine line with the law, and can be charged with a felony, a much bigger charge than the typical misdemeanor for the DUI.
How much does it cost? Since you need an experienced DUI attorney, plan on spending a lot of money. There is just no way around it. Fees can sometimes be as high as $10,000-$20,000, especially if you plan on pleading innocent to the charges.
First Time DUI Offender
For first time drinking and driving charges, you can often get out paying no more than $1,000. This varies depending on experience. The idea is you can hire a relatively new lawyer for the case; however, since you may lose you license for a long time, be fined, and face jail time, you might want to hire an experienced attorney who can successfully bargain with the prosecution and fight for your rights.
The Good News on Defense
While pleading not guilty to a charge can be considered unwise because it might cost more, you can technically appeal if mistakes were made. Perhaps you weren’t driving .., you were never read your personal rights (the Miranda warning) … or the officer failed to perform the sobriety test or use the breathalyzer correctly.
When Fees Are too Much
At some point, you have to decide between DUI attorneys with different prices. You may be inclined to go with the cheaper one. It varies from case to case, but as long as you go with experience, you can be confident. If you feel you were wrongly arrested but can’t prove it, you just may have to bite the bullet and handle the charges.
Know Your Rights
On the other hand, you are innocent until proven guilty. The key is to know your rights, and unfortunately you may not know them until you hire an experienced attorney. Officers are not perfect, do make mistakes, and can often be wrong when it comes to charging you. The fact is known that tests are 1) not always correct and 2) not always performed correctly.
It’s a balancing act hiring an experienced attorney and fighting for your rights, but if you understand them, you have a better shot.