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Just got a DUI and requested my DMV hearing - do I need a lawyer?

San Bernardino, CA |

This is my first DUI and I've already requested my DMV hearing. I refused the breath test and gave blood at the station. My alcohol level came back at .11 and I have a clean record. If I hire an attorney, can she go to my DMV hearing for me? Do I need to go? How about court? I can't take off from work and going to court is really stressful so if I can help not going, I'd rather not. How much should I expect to pay a lawyer for a first time dui? How will I know if I'm getting ripped off??

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    You need an attorney, period. You really can't do the DMV hearing yourself because "refusals" are technical and require knowledge of the law in this area. A refusal can also lead to a 1 year suspension of your driver's license with the DMV, not to mention additional consequences in court. As a misdemeanor, an attorney can appear on your behalf, minimizing your time needed in court. You should expect to pay an attorney anywhere from $2,500 - $5,000 for a first time DUI. Your case has additional challenges so you need to ensure whomever you are paying really does have experience in DUI cases, refusals in particular and at the DMV. You will know you are getting ripped off if your attorney does DUI cases as a small part of their practice and does primarily civil or family law and doesn't know the specific law in the area of DUI. I'm in LA but routinely do DUI in LA, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino. I'm happy to discuss the case with you in detail. Call if you wish and we can set up a free consultation by phone.


  2. It is recommended you hire a DUI attorney or at least consult with one. Good luck.

    My response to your question is a generic response and should not be construed as controlling to your case. I can not effectively advise about your case without knowing all the facts. Additionally, my response does not create an attorney-client relationship. You can contact my office to schedule an appointment if you would like to have me represent you.


  3. If you refused the breath and blood tests your license is gone for a year. You can still contest this at the DMV hearing but you admit here that you refused. As far as what you would have to pay for a first time DUI, you will get what you pay for. If you find someone to do it for $1500 you will get the economy class defense. For an experienced and winning DUI attorney the sky's the limit. Depends on how important it is to you.


  4. I definitely recommend getting a locally experienced DUI attorney, most of whom will offer a free consultation. Call around and talk to a few, and schedule an in person consult if you feel that it is necessary. Use the same skills you always do when evaluating whether or not you're getting ripped off, and stay away from those that attempt to scare you. Hire the best person for the job. Doing so will give you the best chance of beating the case or mitigating the charges and punishment. Good luck.

    Jasen Nielsen


  5. You should definitely consult with a trusted defense attorney as soon as possible.

    If you hire an attorney, he can go to court on your behalf. This means that you will not need to take time off from work to go to court. Your attorney will also be able to handle the DMV APS hearing for you.


  6. You should definitely at least consult with an experienced DUI attorney. There are more issues to a DUI than only your BAC. An attorney can also appear for you in court which can be a great stress reducer for you. Good luck.

    Contributions on AVVO.com in no way create an attorney-client relationship nor are they intended to be relied upon as a course of action without having first consulted directly with an attorney, where the specific facts and circumstances of your case can be fully discussed.

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