What's the main difference between a DUI Attorney that charges $2000 and one that charges $3600?

Asked 10 months ago - Laguna Beach, CA

I'm interviewing attorney's for a 1st time DUI with no previous convictions and the price range is all over the place. I'm trying to understand the range? What should I look for?

Attorney answers (14)

  1. Cambria L Lisonbee

    Contributor Level 13

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no difference generally, just the price. If your BAC is extra high or extra low, a decent attorney can do a lot to help you out there, possibly. If your BAC was in a normal range, you will likely end up with the same result regardless of how much you pay an attorney.

  2. Matthew Murillo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    10

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The difference is usually in experience and knowledge of DUI defense. Ask about case load and what they include in the fee, how they prepare for the DMV hearing, court, etc.

    Usually, the more experienced someone is, the more the fee will be. Higher fees will also sometimes be due to the attorney keeping a smaller case load in order to focus on each case more. Also look at whether they only handle DUI's or whether they take different types of cases. That will also have an effect on fees.

    Any information provided through Avvo.com in response to a question is not, and cannot be considered a formation... more
  3. David Matthew Piper

    Contributor Level 15

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hard to say. I generally charge a set price for first time DUis that is based on my ten years experience. Sometimes, however, if I feel sorry for a client or think they are being treated poorly by the system, I will reduce my price for them.

    I know conventional wisdom says that lower price equals less experience, but that is not always the case. At least with me.

    Hard to tell what and why is going on in your situation. Shop around and find someone you feel you can trust...regardless of price (high or low).

    Good luck!

    Reliance on any information in this website is at the sole risk of the user and the user understands that he or... more
  4. Richard Kim

    Contributor Level 10

    10

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Sometimes the price difference is due to experience. Other times the expensive DUI attorneys just have a clientele that is wealthier.

    When shopping for a DUI attorney. Look for one that you feel comfortable with and can trust to do a good job. There are many qualified attorneys on avvo offer a free consultation. Give a few of them a call.

    This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice or... more
  5. Troy Slaten

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The best thing you can do is hire an attorney that concentrates in DUI defense and that goes to trial in DUI cases. I'm not saying that your case will need to go to trial (that is a decision only you can make), I'm just explaining that an attorney who takes DUI cases to trial is in a better position to negotiate and evaluate your particular case. You may also want to ask if they are members of the California DUI lawyers Association and National College of DUI Defense. You may also want to look at their AVVO rating.

    Most of us here on AVVO will give you a free in person or telephonic consultation. Start calling ASAP!!

  6. Mordechai David Pelta

    Contributor Level 8

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hire an attorney who is experienced in DUI work. Experience counts, including the ability to take a case to trial. The DA's offers tend to be more flexible when they know you have an attorney who will fight for you. Of course, the facts of your particular case are the most important. You usually get what you pay for. Thank you.

    This answer is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
  7. James Melvin Taylor

    Contributor Level 5

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Its usually relative to their experience level. Although in the present economy many good DUI lawyers are lowering their fees to keep their staff busy and paid. It comes down to how comfortable you are with the attorney, the experience level of the attorney, does the attorney go to trial, if so, when was the last trial and what was the result. Will the attorney you will be paying to represent you be the same attorney who will be representing you in court?

  8. Michael Jon Fremont

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    8

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Look for experience a 2000 dollar tourney in Orange County most likely I
    will not have the experience do not hire anybody with less than 5 years
    experience who only does DUI

  9. Vijay Dinakar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    8

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . The difference between a DUI attorney that charges $3600 and one who charges $2000 is $1600 ($3600 - $2000=$1600). Assuming you're not after a snarky or mathematically accurate answer, the main difference lies in the attorney's knowledge, motivation, experience and skill in attaining the best possible outcome for you. It is not necessarily the case that you will receive a different or better outcome with a more expensive attorney than a less expensive attorney. So how to decide who to hire? The best is advice is to hire someone you trust and feel comfortable with that hopefully comes from someone that knows the attorney personally and recommends him/her to you. Price is an important factor in paying for any good or service, you want to know that you are getting a good value by spending your money. You should definitely find out the details of what is entailed in the price; does the price include the price of investigation, of hiring experts, investigators, or trial? You should also determine if the attorney has specialized training in DUI defense and how many DUI trials he's done. You should also be able to easily understand the attorney's basic strategy and plan in the working for the best outcome in your case. If you don't trust the attorney, do not hire him/her. How do you decide how to hire a car mechanic, air condition repairman, or physician? We all have heard stories of being ripped off by the first two service professionals (mechanic doesn't replace oil on oil change or tells us there is a problem when there is no problem) but most have also heard of doctors misdiagnosing patients or worse. Actually the market for mechanics is more competitive than the legal market and the legal market is more competitive than the medical market given a couple that there are less barriers to entry in the car mechanic market than there are in the legal market and less barriers to entry to the legal market than there are in the medical market (also in the medical market the payer is usually is a different entity than the beneficiary which makes medical pricing act as less accurate signals aside from a few areas like cosmetic surgery or lasik surgery). The point is price of a lawyer is not going to be determinative for your purposes given that the legal market is nowhere near perfectly competitive. Long story short, ask around - ask your friends, colleagues, family and then hire someone you trust. Good luck

    For a Free Consultation Call: 408.516.4645
  10. Michael Kevin Cernyar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The basis for my price is the effort I use in defending the DUI. DUI defense is all about physics, chemistry, biophysics - scientific evidence that I understand because of my engineering background from Purdue University. So when I do my due diligence on a matter, if it doesn't make sense from a scientific perspective then I drill down for additional evidence. So I believe that my process is a little more time consuming so I tend to charge on the higher end of the scale for first time DUIs. In the same token, for a second I tend to charge less than most because the effort is very similar to the first DUI. Good luck.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice... more
  11. Kiarash Feyzjou

    Contributor Level 11

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Like everything else in society, experience makes all the difference. You should look for someone who a proven track record in fighting the fight against prosecutors and challenging evidence in court. Just because an attorney charges more doesn't mean that they are more qualified. Make a few appointments and do some consultations. You will notice that sometimes the best lawyers aren't the ones that charge more or vice versa.

  12. Michael Stewart Phillips

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The one who charges more is promising to provide you with more skill, knowledge, work volume, or work quality. Talk to both. Ask the cheaper one how he gets by on $2k/DUI and what kind of work he intends to do on your case. Ask the more expensive one to prove why he is worth more money. If the expensive lawyer can't convince you to pay more, he can't convince a prosecutor to cut you a break and he can't put reasonable doubt in a juror's mind. You don't need to know how long it has been since a lawyer was issued a license to practice, you need to know how much valuable experience and success he has earned working on DUI cases.

  13. Bobby Shamuilian

    Contributor Level 5

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Attorneys that charge low amounts typically either don't plan on doing a lot of lawyering on your case, or they are going for volume.

    From my experience you get what you pay for. I would suggest that with a criminal case, to get the best you can afford, not the best deal you can find.

    This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to... more
  14. William James Campbell Jr

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . About $1,600.00.... Although talented lawyers often charge more because of demand I doubt any client would see a significant difference. The facts control cases generally.

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