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Did you know that the number of people who’ve died in alcohol-related driving accidents has gone up by 14% in recent years? If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, you’ll face an uphill battle. Even if your experience did not result in fatalities or injuries, you’ll need the best DUI lawyer you can find.
Keep reading to learn how much it costs to hire a DUI attorney.
Are You a First-Time Offender?
If you’ve been caught driving under the influence before, expect to pay more for the help of a DUI attorney. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with a first offense, the cost should be lower. Further, the experience level and reputation of the lawyer will impact the price.
For instance, you could pay under $1,500 for a DUI lawyer to help you through a first offense. However, for that price, you may get someone with little experience. For a felony DUI lawyer, your starting price probably will be above $2,000 — and a top lawyer could be over $10,000.
Understand the Cost Structure
When hiring a lawyer, be sure to ask what the cost and payment structure look like. In some cases, lawyers will charge by the hour. You could spend $400 per hour for some experienced attorneys.
In other instances, a lawyer will charge a flat rate. This could be $2,000 or $4,000 depending on the circumstances. With this type of fee structure, an attorney may think it’s likely that they’ll be able to negotiate a plea.
While you’re at it, ask about the payment plan. You may need to budget for monthly payments or make one bigger payment.
Going to Trial Raises the Cost
Going to trial for drinking and driving means you may pay twice as much in attorney fees. In other words, your price could jump from $5,000 to $10,000. And that doesn’t even include the fees you’ll need to cover any expert witnesses.
Factor in other costs to your bottom line, too. You may need to pay for a drug screening test, bail, and driver responsibility fees. And you may need to pay a towing and impound fee for your car.
Know the Cost Savings a Lawyer Provides
Hiring a DUI lawyer may be expensive, but it can save you time and money. A skilled attorney will know to question the legitimacy of breathalyzer exams or the motive for the traffic stop. They’ll also be able to assess the completeness of a police report.
Attorneys often have solid relationships with prosecutors and other legal figures. In other words, they’ll have the rapport and experience necessary to help you find a solution.
And remember that knowing how to avoid a DUI can save you the most money. Know the legal limits and designate a driver if you’re out drinking alcohol. If you are pulled over, have your necessary documents ready and be respectful.
Hire a DUI Attorney
A skilled DUI attorney can present a solid case on your behalf because they know what evidence to gather. You may pay as little as $1,000 for a case that stays out of court. But for a more seasoned attorney overseeing a complex case, the price could rise to $10,000.
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