If you were recently arrested for DUI, you may be asking the question, “How much to hire a DUI lawyer?” The average DUI lawyer cost will depend on a number of factors and will not necessarily be the same standardized fee as would be the case for other offenses. This is an area of legal defense where there are no hard and fast rules. It’s an excellent idea to arrange for a free consultation with a DUI lawyer so that they can review your case and give you a reasonable idea of what the charges for your defense may entail.
Don’t Try to Represent Yourself in Court Without a DUI Lawyer
The main thing you need to keep in mind is that it is a bad idea to try to represent your own case in court without the assistance of a DUI lawyer. The prosecutor in your case will do everything in their power to try to get you to contradict or even perjure yourself so that your credibility will be ruined. You will need a professional legal expert to gather up all of the evidence so that they can present your case in the best possible light. This is something that is best left to a legal expert, not a layman like yourself. You will need a DUI lawyer if you want to get the charges reduced or dropped.
Most DUI Lawyers Will Not Accept Cases on a Contingency Basis
The first thing you should know is that most DUI lawyers will not accept cases on a contingent basis. This is an area where serious criminal charges are involved, as opposed to other types of cases, such as personal injury, where the amount you pay will be based on the settlement you receive. In the case of a DUI, there is no settlement to be had. You are trying your best to avoid paying money to the state rather than hoping to receive any. The strategy here will be to reduce the amount of the fines you are penalized with and to reduce or avoid any time spent in prison.
How Much Will it Cost to Hire a DUI Lawyer for Your Case?
When it comes to calculating the total amount of your DUI attorney fees, there are two basic payment structures. Depending on who you decide to hire, the average cost of DUI lawyer representation will be different. However, in most cases, the structure of your payments will be either hourly or flat rate. In an hourly arrangement, the services you receive from your DUI lawyer will be billed for a specified rate per hour. The main advantage here is that you won’t be overcharged if your case is wrapped up quickly, since the DUI lawyer cost only covers the amount of time they actually represented you.
Paying Your DUI Lawyer a Flat Rate May Save You Money
You may also choose to go with a DUI lawyer who will charge you using a flat rate system. In this case, the lawyer who handles your case will first quote you a flat fee that will cover the entire time that they devote to representing your case in court. You can then agree to the fee and give your case to that lawyer or move on to a different attorney. In some cases, you may actually spend less money hiring a flat fee lawyer because you may be able to receive bulk time discounts that would not be possible if you were paying your lawyer by means of a strict hourly rate.
Your DUI Lawyer Cost May Vary According to the Goal You Set
The ultimate cost of the DUI lawyer you hire may also vary according to the specific goal you agree on. For example, if you feel that the most you can hope for is a plea bargain that may reduce your fees and help you avoid jail time, your case will probably be resolved in a relatively short period of time. This will mean that the amount of time and energy your DUI lawyer spends on your case will be much less than if you fought every charge until the bitter end. If you’re only shooting for a relatively painless plea bargain, your ultimate fee will be much lower.
If You Opt for a Trial, Your Ultimate Fee Will Likely Be Higher
On the other hand, if you reject the idea of plea bargaining, this means that you will have to face the full extent of your DUI charges in a court of law. If this is the case, your DUI lawyer will quote you a “trial fee” that you are free to agree on paying or reject. Keep in mind that this trial fee will be significantly higher than the amount you would pay for a plea bargain. This is because the amount of work involved in preparing the evidence for the case, arguing your case in court, and haggling for a fair settlement will be much higher than if they were simply shopping for a plea bargain deal.
The Complexity of Your Case May Affect How Much it Will Ultimately Cost
Another factor that is sure to influence the ultimate amount you owe to your DUI lawyer will be the complexity of your case. If your case is nothing more than a straightforward first offense with no complications, it will very likely be resolved quickly, resulting in a much lower fee. This is especially likely if you intend to plea bargain the case down to a quick fine and a few hours spent in DUI education classes. Since your lawyer will not have to work quite as long or as hard, you should expect to be finished with the case relatively soon. This will be a relative financial bonanza for your budget.
If a Plea Bargain Can’t Be Had, You Will Have to Go to Trial
However, if there were complications, such as injuries or even fatalities that resulted from your actions, you will most likely not be able to plea bargain the case away. If you are involved in a case where being found guilty will result in serious consequences, such as the loss of your driver’s license, heavy fines, and time spent in prison, your DUI lawyer will have to work much harder to get a better verdict on your behalf. This will naturally mean that you will owe your DUI attorney a much higher fee after the case is finally resolved.
You’ll Need to Arrange for a Free Consultation to Learn More
Your best bet is to arrange for a free consultation in order to learn more about your chances for success in court and also to learn how much your DUI defense will cost you in the end. Now is the time to get straight answers regarding the strength or weakness of your case and what kind of outcome you can reasonably expect. It’s also the time when you can receive accurate and trustworthy advice regarding just how much the cost of hiring a professional DUI will run you. A free consultation with a DUI lawyer will also give you a much better feel concerning whether or not you wish to hire this particular individual.
Hiring a DUI Lawyer Is Always Worth It in the Long Run
While you may feel that you are paying quite a lot of money to your DUI attorney, it’s best to keep in mind at all times what you are paying them for. If your lawyer can succeed in getting the charges significantly reduced or completely dropped, this is a victory that will save you a great deal of time, effort, and worry. Avoiding time spent in prison is a victory that ought to be worth the fair amount your DUI lawyer will charge.