In terms of hiring legal representation, lawyers who represent clients in DUI / DWI cases are relatively plentiful in the field. For those in need of their assistance, this is good news as it means that many choices of counsel are available and that market demand does not exceed supply. While not all attorneys are equal, even among those who specialize in defending clients against DUI / DWI charges, finding adequate representation at an affordable rate is possible.
When taking the cost of a lawyer into account, those accused of DUI / DWI must realize that the cost associated with a conviction may be greater than the legal fees they would incur by using an attorney. These potential costs include more than just fines and court costs. They can also include the cost of employment changes, DUI school or rehabilitation, driving license reinstatement, increased insurance rates, vehicle impound, ignition interlock installation and more depending on state and local DUI statutes.
A good lawyer will not promise or guarantee the prevention of these additional costs if their client is convicted, but they can potentially help those charged with DUI / DWI avoid the worst of these outcomes by advocating for reduced charges or sentencing on their behalf. This can mean receiving a lower fine, less time in DUI school or rehab, or the avoidance of other sentencing measures that would cost their client in terms of lost wages, employment, or freedom of movement.
A person charged with DUI / DWI should expect to spend $1,000 or more for competent counsel. The actual cost, however, is influenced by a variety of factors. These can include location, type of charges, and the overall difficulty of a case in terms of research requirements and other time-related factors. Like most services, legal fees are influenced by the cost of living for the area. For example, a lawyer in Seattle is likely to cost more than one in rural Missouri.
If you need a DUI / DWI lawyer and are worried about the cost, many lawyers offer free consultations to discuss the basic facts of your case and what options you have. An experienced lawyer will be able to offer you valuable legal services and protect your rights during your case. Because of the seriousness of these charges and the potential monetary and long-term costs, it is wise to retain legal counsel as soon as possible following an arrest.