When you’re pulled over after drinking, rarely are the fines forthcoming the first thing on your mind. No, you’re likely scared of going to jail, of losing your license permanently, of being forced to jump through hoops in order to get your life back on track. True, the fees may seem secondary, but they become important in any DUI charge, especially in California. The costs of a California DUI go far beyond simply paying fines, even if those are high. No, in order to get accurate representation, you need to pay for a California DUI lawyer.
This blog post covers the major fees you will be paying, how you should treat the charges, and how to hire an affordable California DUI lawyer.
Beyond fines, for your first DUI you’ll face a license suspension means a mandatory six month license suspension, mandatory jail time of 48 hours for a first offense, and hours in a DUI School. You have to understand that by drinking and driving, or abusing drugs and driving, you endanger others. It may seem to be far from it when you’re driving down an empty road at night, but drinking and driving is a leading cause of death in California.
If you have multiple DUI violations, you can expect stiffer penalties, such as your license being suspended for several years, weeks to months spent in jail, and be put on probation for an extended period. It’s worse if you get a felony.
Fines and Fees for a California DUI
You can expect to pay $1,400 to $1,800 for a first time offense, and that’s before you even consider lawyer fees. A second offense means $1,800 to $2,800 in fines and court fees. A third offense is technically the same. If you get a fourth offense, you likely will face felony charges and money will be the least of your problems. However, with the right help, by hiring the right lawyer, by never drinking and driving again, these problems can be overcome.
How do you hire a lawyer?
There are literally thousands of California lawyers who can help defend a DUI charge. However, not all are equally experienced for your case, nor are the price ranges always the same. You can expect to pay much more for your lawyer to represent you than the fines. It can be $10,000 to $20,000 to defend your rights in court. Some do charge less, some are negotiable, some will even work with you on a payment plan. Going to trial, especially for felony charges, without legal representation could cost you time in prison. You just have to value how much staying out of prison, being able to get your license back, and avoiding major court fees can help.