If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may need to have legal representation if you want to avoid the numerous consequences of a drunk driving conviction. Although many drivers assume they can’t afford an attorney, the truth is that your drunk driving legal fees may be significantly less than what you will pay if you are convicted. Don’t believe it? Well, consider this: the average driver convicted of DUI pays $10,000 or more in fines and penalties.
The exact cost of hiring an attorney will depend on several factors, such as where you live, the attorney’s experience, and most importantly, how your offense is classified. If this is your first offense and there are no extenuating factors, you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor.
However, if you are a repeat offender (meaning you have one or more DUI convictions on your record) or were arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) well over the 0.08% limit, the offense may be considered a felony—and as you can probably guess, most attorneys charge more to handle a felony DUI than a misdemeanor case. In some areas, felony charges may also be applied if you had an underage passenger in your vehicle at the time of your arrest or were involved in a serious auto accident.
While many DUI attorneys charge a flat rate to handle your case, just as many of them charge hourly. What does that mean? When you are charged a flat rate, you pay a predetermined amount for the attorney to handle your entire case. On the other hand, if you are charged an hourly rate, your final cost will depend on the amount of time your attorney spends on your case—and that includes phone calls and emails as well as legal proceedings.
Regardless of whether your attorney charges a flat or hourly rate, it is important to find out exactly what services his or her fees include. There may be additional costs, for example, if your case goes to trial or third-party services (such as expert testimony and/or blood analysis) are required for your defense. Make sure you get an itemized list of all of these expenses before you hire an attorney.
Remember, DUI law is one of the most complex areas of the law. As a result, it is important to have skilled legal representation if you want to challenge your arrest and avoid the life-altering consequences of a drunk driving conviction.
While many law firms may claim to have the skill required to take your case, it is important to look for an attorney who practices DUI law exclusively, as he or she will be well-versed in the laws in your area and familiar with the latest defense tactics for challenging a drunk driving charge.
For a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled DUI attorney in your area, complete our online form today and learn how you can improve your chances of successfully resolving your case.