Are DUI lawyers expensive? What does a DUI lawyer cost? I'm curious what a California attorney charges to handle a DUI case.
What a DUI lawyer costs can vary quite a bit. I charge $4500 and I work the heck out of my cases. The top DUI attorneys such as Richard Hutton who represented Paris Hilton charges far more. Some attorneys claim to only charge $500. If they are charging $500, I assure you, they are not spending much time on your case, because they could not afford to keep the doors open doing that.
How much a DUI lawyer costs depends on a lot of things. DUI lawyers can be very expensive. DUI retainer fees depend on a variety of factors to include, but not limited to, the following: (1) is the offense a felony or misdemeanor; (2) is it a first time or 2nd + offense where priors may have to be challenged; (3) will the lawyer also be handling DMV matters; (4) will the lawyer require any ancillary services such as a forensic alcohol consultant or a private investigator; and (5) will the case be disposed of before trial or will a jury trial be conducted. Most DUI attorneys will charge a retainer fee for services up to the point of trial. This initial retainer can range from $1,500.00 to $10,000.00 or more depending on the lawyers experience, reputation and demand for his or her services. After the attorney has obtianed all the reports related to the case, he or she may express an opinion as to whether a plea should be negotiated or if the matter is worth taking to trial. Should the client elect to have a trial, most criminal defense attorneys in my geographic location charge per day to conduct a trial. Per day fees generally range from $2,000.00 a day plus costs and up (again depend upon the lawyers experience, reputation and demand for their time). A garden variety misdemeanor DUI trial will take approximately three days. If you also have your own forensic expert witness testify then you should plan on spending anywhere from $1000 to $1,500.00 for a day.
What a DUI lawyer costs can have a huge range. I have seen ranges from as low as $500.00 up towards 10+ grand. Truly depends on the case. If it is a one time dui with a low breath reading and no criminal history, to where someone has their third dui and another charge and other criminal history. Another factor is whether the attorney is experienced in advocating for the client's driving license hearing. Most people who are charged with a dui are overwhelmed. It is crucial to get the right attorney. I have know excellent Public Defense Attorneys advocate for their clients. There is so much to risk and the right attorney makes all the difference.
Experience and Results Matter in DUI Defense. Excellent attorneys who focus primarily on DUI belong to some type of association that offers extensive seminars, such as The National College for DUI Defense www.NCDD.com Also across the U.S. prices ranges according to experience, locale and results.
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