How Much Does a DUI Attorney Cost?
UPDATED: February 14, 2018
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DUI attorneys tend to bill slightly differently than personal injury attorneys. Some personal injury attorneys will accept a case on a contingent basis. Not so with criminal attorneys. They usually require a deposit up front. How much they will charge for the entire case, however, will depend on the type of fee structure they use, the type of resolution that you are seeking, and the complexity of your case.
Types of Fee Structures for DUI Attorneys
The two general types of fee structures that most DUI attorneys use to charge clients are "hourly" and "flat rate." Hourly means that services will be billed to you on a specified hourly basis. The advantage of this type of billing is that you don’t end up overpaying if your case is resolved quickly. You only have to pay the attorney for the time he or she actually worked on your DUI case. A flat rate system means the DUI attorney will quote you a fee to cover the entire course of your representation. Flat rate fees sometimes result in discounts that you would not get with the hourly rate.
Needless to say, some attorneys will charge more, while others less. Larger firms will probably charge more than their smaller firms.
Hiring a DUI attorney for a specific task:
How much the DUI attorney will actually cost will depend, in part, on how you want to resolve your case. For example, if you hire a DUI attorney to simply negotiate a plea bargain, the rates quoted for a DUI plea are significantly lower. If you want to contest your DUI case with a trial, the DUI attorney will quote you a “trial fee.” A trial fee is significantly higher because it involves more court time and extensive pre-trial prep work.
TIP: Regardless of the fee structure or schedule type, most DUI attorneys will offer you a FREE case evaluation.
Types of Cases That May Cost More
The more complex your DUI case is, the more time the DUI attorney will invest in your case, the more time spent in preparing your case, the more it will cost. For example, if your DUI involves a fatality, you could potentially be charged with intoxication manslaughter—not just DUI. A higher charge, like a felony DUI, will result in higher costs. If you need more services-- such as representation at the motor vehicles department license suspension hearing-- the DUI attorney may charge more.
Average Costs for DUI Attorneys
Although local market rates and state bar rules will also influence how much a DUI attorney will cost, whether you want to accept a plea or take your case to trial will influence the cost of your DUI lawyer the most. DUI attorneys can charge anywhere from $750 to $1,500.00 for a plea. Trial rates may range from $2,500.00 to $25,000.00 depending on the level of your offense and the complexity of your case.
FREE Initial Consultation
Most DUI attorneys offer free initial consultations. Typically, the consultation is either over the phone or in person and can last up to 30 minutes. This is a chance for you to discuss your case with an attorney and ask the attorney questions about their experience, skill and cost and what options you have. An in-person, sit-down consultation is preferable since it allows you to decide whether there can be a comfortable working relationship between the two of you. You want an attorney whom you can trust. In a DUI matter, it would be in your best interests to consider consulting with a skilled lawyer. You can get started immediately looking for the right attorney for you by completing the Free DUI Case Evaluation form below.