Different Ways to Secure Affordable Representation and Why Having a DUI Attorney is Important
Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be a devastating blow when finances are tight. Since the impending fines, missing work, and other factors can put a large financial strain on an individual, they often believe they cannot afford a good DUI attorney to represent them in court.
While it is true that experienced attorneys are expensive, it is important that individuals charged with DUI seek some kind of reputable, legal representation in order to have the best possible outcome in court. Before impulsively searching online reviews for the best DUI lawyer near me and think the online search results are the only choices, there are more local affordable DUI attorneys available to help.
Financing Your Local Legal Counsel With Affordable DUI Attorney Payment Plans
For individuals who are unable to pay for their legal representation out of pocket there are a number of ways they will be able to find and even finance a good local DUI attorney to help try their case. Moreover, many of the best local DUI specialist lawyers provide DUI attorney free legal advice online to further help keep legal fees as low as possible from the beginning. The following is a list of other potential options to assist in hiring the best affordable DUI lawyers nearest your location.
- Federal Programs: Federal programs are available for individuals with low incomes to secure legal representation. The attorneys work the individual’s case as they normally would and are then paid out of a federal fund instead of out of the individual’s pocket. This helps to provide individuals with lower incomes with proper legal representation without having to overextend their finances by paying legal fees they cannot afford.
- Sliding Fees: Some states will offer what is known as “sliding fees” – this is essentially a scale of fees that will vary based on the individual’s income. Regardless of how much the individual makes, this program allows them to find an attorney whose fees will fit within their budget. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the individual will need to prove their income level in order to apply for this program.
- Payment Plans: For individuals unable to find an attorney they like at a low cost, it may be possible to arrange DUI attorney payment plans with many top-rated lawyers near you to keep legal fees affordable. In some cases, attorneys will accept an upfront fee to try the case and then work out a reasonable payment plan to pay off the remainder of the fees. Although the individual will still be paying full price for a private attorney, a payment plan makes doing so manageable while getting the representation needed.
- Trade: While this may seem like a strange way to secure legal representation, it may be possible to arrange mutually beneficial trade of services that satisfies both parties. For instance, if the individual is a contractor, they may be able to trade a kitchen renovation work for the attorney’s representation for the DUI case. Those individuals who are in a skilled trade or own their own business do this often and asking for this type of trade never hurts.
- Pro-Bono: Some lawyers and law firms will offer pro-bono legal work on a limited basis. Individuals who wish to seek this option should call their local bar association to see what attorneys in their area may be willing to try their case free of charge. If the individual is very strapped for cash, is not happy with their public defender or federal program attorney, this may be an effective way to secure the right legal representation.
- Loan: When all the above methods fail, it may be time to consider getting a loan. Some credit cards will offer a no-finance period – using this to pay the attorney and paying it off before the no-finance period ends is an effective way to use a loan. Additionally, the individual may need to seek personal loans from their local bank, family, or friends in order to be able to hire a good DUI attorney. The cost of this type of financing will be less than fines after being convicted of DUI.
Why Having a Good DUI Attorney is Important
In order to avoid the sometimes high cost of paying an attorney, many individuals will determine that they do not need good legal representation in order to beat their DUI charge. These individuals will often accept the help of a public defender – while public defenders are legal professionals, they are often overworked with heavy case loads, meaning the individual will likely not get the one on one attention for their case. Worse yet, some individuals will go through the trial alone.
When thinking about the consequences for being convicted of DUI, it should be easy to see why having a reputable attorney is important for the trial, to have the consequences lightened, or have the case dismissed altogether. Some of the penalties an individual will face, even for a first offense DUI, are fines, license suspension, required alcohol or drug education classes, having to use an ignition interlock device or, in some states, the possibility of jail time.
All of these consequences can have a big financial and personal impact on an individual’s future. For those facing second or third time DUI offenses, the punishments only get harsher. Here are some examples of the penalties individuals face for first time offenses and repeat offenses:
First Time Offense DUI Penalties
- Colorado: 3-Month License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
- Washington, D.C.: 90-Day License Suspension, Possible IID Requirement
- Indiana: 180 Day License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education, Possible Vehicle Confiscation, Possible IID Requirement
- Kentucky: 30-Day License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible Vehicle Confiscation, Possible IID Requirement
- Nevada: 90-Day License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
- New Jersey: 3-Month License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
- Ohio: 6-Month License Suspension, Possible IID Requirement
- Pennsylvania: 1-Year License Suspension
- Vermont: 90-Day License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education
- West Virginia: 6-Month License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
Second and Third Time Offense DUI Penalties
- Colorado: 1-Year License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
- Washington, D.C.: 1-Year License Suspension, Possible IID Requirement
- Indiana: 180-Day License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education, Possible Vehicle Confiscation, Possible IID Requirement
- Kentucky: 1-Year License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible Vehicle Confiscation, Possible IID Requirement
- Nevada: 1-Year License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
- New Jersey: 2-Year License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
- Ohio: 1-Year License Suspension, Alcohol Treatment Assessment for 3rd Offense, Possible Vehicle Confiscation for 4th Offense, Possible IID Requirement
- Pennsylvania: 1-Year License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment for 2nd Offense, Possible Vehicle Confiscation, Possible IID Requirement for 2nd Offense
- Vermont: 18-Month License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education, Possible Vehicle Confiscation for 3rd Offense
- West Virginia: 1-Year License Suspension, Mandatory Alcohol Education/Treatment/Assessment, Possible IID Requirement
It is easy to see how the penalties increase with the number of offenses. Having to deal with these punishments can put a financial and emotional strain on an individual’s life and may cause some additional short and long term consequences. License suspensions make it difficult for individuals to get around, meaning they will have issues getting to school or work.
Additionally, having to take drug and/or alcohol education classes can interfere with their work schedules and may cause them to lose their job. Monetary fines also play a large factor and only increase with the number of offenses.
When searching for affordable DUI attorneys near me, it is very important to hire a local lawyer that you feel comfortable cares about the consequences both financially and criminally. A driver arrested for DUI deserves a low cost lawyer who also shows sincere compassion so the case outcome has the least amount of impact on an individual’s life.
By using some of the methods listed above, it is possible to get proper legal representation that an individual can afford. The cost of hiring an attorney and having the charges reduced or, ideally, dismissed will be worth every penny if the financial strain that a DUI conviction can be avoided it at all possible. An online arrest review will provide free legal advice and a definitive local attorney list that an online search for “affordable DUI lawyers near me” doesn’t always report.
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