Cost of a DUI Lawyer
Before you search for a DUI attorney to represent you, consider writing down some of the most important questions you have—one of those being how much it will cost to retain their services. Mr. Head, an Atlanta DUI lawyer, suggests that you should ask attorneys about their education, experience and try to find one that is a member of the National College of DUI Defense.
Keep in mind that some attorneys charge more than others but there is a specific reason for this. Attorneys that charge more typically have fewer clients, which means that they can dedicate more time to focus on your case—and your defense. It may be worth it to you if you’re facing a DUI to go with an attorney who is a bit more costly.
Once you have settled on the attorney that’s right for you, he or she should provide you with a written agreement detailing his or her costs. Be sure you understand and are in agreement with this before you sign it.
Attorneys may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. Hourly rates can range from $100 to $300 or more. If they charge a flat fee, it can cost up to $2,500 for a first offense DUI with no enhanced penalties and the intention to plead guilty.
For DUI cases that are more complex (such as if it’s your third conviction or you have enhanced penalties), the attorney may charge you up to $5,000. If your DUI case goes to trial you’ll pay at least $2,000 in legal services but typically not more than $25,000. During a trial, your attorney may need to call an expert witness to testify on your behalf. Their assistance can cost an additional $2,000 to $7,000 but the evidence they provide could mean the difference in winning your case.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, you still have a right to a defense. A government appointed lawyer will be assigned to your case at the cost of the state. You will be required to provide the court with your financial details.
The most important thing to remember is to review all of the costs associated with your case when first meeting with your lawyer.