Updated March 16, 2018
Legal expertise comes at a price and many lawyers charge expensive fees. However, cost does not always equate to level of expertise. FightDUICharges.com helps anyone find an inexpensive local attorney experienced with DUI cases. If this is not your first DUI, here are some cost estimates regarding legal services.
Typical DUI Costs
Fines, increased driver insurance premiums, charges for alcohol education programs, and legal fees are typical DUI costs. Of these, lawyer fees can be the most expensive. Some individuals charged with DUI believe that professional legal representation is not worth it. Unfortunately, many later realize that self-representation can be much more expensive. A good attorney can reduce costly penalties or get the case thrown out of court.
Several factors determine the overall cost of retaining a DUI attorney for a 2nd offense. These include whether the lawyer bills hourly or charges a flat fee, how experienced the attorney is, state of residence, and the type and amount of legal work involved in the case. Individuals charged with a second DUI should expect to pay more than first-time offenders because their cases are usually more complex. Legal costs for a second DUI range from the mid-thousands to five figures.
Attorneys outline their legal services and fee arrangements in a document called an engagement letter. Requesting an engagement letter from several DUI attorneys is completely acceptable. Use FightDUICharges.com to find two or three top local DUI lawyers to review, compare their engagement letters, and sign the letter from the attorney who will be retained.
Many DUI lawyers require a retainer payment representing a portion or all of the legal costs. This means the defendant will need to spend money before any legal work commences. A retainer is usually due immediately after signing an engagement letter. If the attorney is fired or overall legal costs are less than the amount paid on retainer, the remainder will be returned.
Most attorneys charge an hourly rate that typically varies from less than $100 to more than $1,000 based on experience level, location, and area of legal expertise. Billable hours are the number of hours the attorney spends doing work directly related to the DUI case. This includes time spent researching, corresponding in writing or via telephone, and preparing written documents. It is rare for a DUI attorney to charge a flat fee or accept a case on a contingency basis that requires no payment unless the DUI case is won.
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