DUI lawyers cost less than you may imagine. People hear horror stories of DUIs costing $20,000 but that simply isn’t the case. The cost of a DUI depends on the complexity of the DUI, the location of the court and the person’s criminal history. Someone with prior DUI convictions can expect a tougher case and therefore will pay more than someone with only a first offense DUI.
There are some new attorneys scraping for clients who will charge very little but the results are abysmal. Then there are attorneys who have been in the business for thirty or forty years and limit their caseload by over-charging for simple DUI cases. We offer a high level of expertise and believe that good representation should be within the reach of everyone, so our prices are extremely reasonable and we offer flexible payment plans.
How Much Does a Good DUI Lawyer Cost?
On a first offense DUI, CA DUI attorneys average between $3500-$7500. We offer rates that take into consideration the complexity of the case and the needs of the client. The best DUI lawyers will customize the price for you based on your specific case instead of using a generic price for each case that doesn’t take into consideration the ease or difficulty of that particular case. Some DUIs are extremely simple and require less effort, therefore the cost is very minimal. A felony dui with great bodily injury, for example, would cost more since the stakes are extremely high and felonies are a huge amount of work.
DUI Attorney Fees in California
Many DUI attorneys in California don’t bill by the hour. Hourly billing tends to frustrate clients who don’t want to be nickel and dimed for each email they send or each question they have. We offer flat rate representation which means that the price doesn’t change or go up. You don’t need to worry about being billed for asking questions about your case or defense strategy. You will know the total cost upfront so there are no unexpected costs down the line. Transparency in pricing and payment plans allows our clientele to feel confident in their ability to pay and to know what to expect.
Red Flags To Watch Out For When Hiring a DUI Attorney
I could write a book about red flags when hiring attorneys. Many attorneys rely on one of two tactics to pressure you to hire them. The first is the scare tactic, where the attorney tries to frighten potential clients with things like jail or prison, in hopes that the potential client will act out of desperation. This is a terrible thing to do to people who are already full of anxiety after a DUI arrest. The last thing they need is more anxiety, especially when most of the threats aren’t true in their case (jail time is typically not required on a basic first-time DUI offense).
Many other attorneys will tell you that they are great friends with the judge and prosecutor on your case. This is also misleading and usually completely fabricated. We hear stories from our clients who interviewed other attorneys and the scenarios they describe are very disturbing. Some attorneys claim to golf with the DA or that their wife is best friend’s with the DA’s wife, when the attorney isn’t even married. Some attorneys will say anything to get your business. If it feels like a sales tactic, it is. We don’t use sales tactics. We simply don’t need to. We believe in honesty, transparency, and good faith in treating our prospective clients because that’s what we would want if we were in their shoes.
There are many attorneys who will be completely reachable when trying to get your business and then disappear the moment they are paid. Unfortunately the bad apples make everyone look bad. We, however, pride ourselves on strong client communication and interaction, start to finish.
Do I Really Need a DUI Lawyer?
Yes, absolutely. Even on a first-time DUI arrest, the driver is facing two separate DMV suspensions and a lengthy court case where the prosecutor is aggressively seeking a conviction and harsh punishment. The judge and DA will show no mercy on someone who attempts to represent themselves and in fact, the judge will put immense pressure on a defendant to hire an attorney instead of representing themselves since the punishment will be so much worse.
At stake in any first-time DUI arrest are the following: your ability to drive, your ability to maintain a clean criminal record, job applications, credit applications, renting cars, etc. A DUI has huge consequences for drivers so getting a lawyer is a must. More importantly, finding the right attorney with experience, availability and “bed-side manner” is the critical difference between getting a great result or getting a terrible outcome in court.