DUI (driving under the influence) charges can have lasting repercussions, so if this is your first offense or second, it’s crucial that you hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Attorneys typically have one of two fee structures: hourly or flat rate. An hourly structure may be more suitable for simple cases that are resolved quickly; however, for complex matters with high BAC levels, injuries, or prior convictions that last months or even years longer an alternative structure is usually best.
Costs of a DUI Case
Be it yourself facing a DUI charge or helping a loved one who is, it is vitally important that you understand its financial repercussions. Costs associated with DUI cases differ by state and may include attorney fees, bail costs, court-ordered fines, DMV fees for license reinstatement fees and traffic school costs, substance abuse classes or treatment programs as well as traffic school, towing/impound fees car rental costs while your vehicle is impounded, transportation costs (cabs or public transit) etc.
DUI offenders must also pay higher auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies consider DUI offenders high-risk drivers, so their premiums could increase substantially – if they can even keep coverage. Many attorneys are willing to work with clients on an agreeable payment plan that works for everyone – it is important to remember though, that quality lawyers won’t come cheap and cheap ones aren’t worth paying for; expect to spend more for a top-tier DUI lawyer than for someone less experienced.
Costs of a Plea
Prosecutors and judges both benefit from negotiating plea agreements. A plea bargain saves time and resources, as it reduces court’s caseload backlog. Prosecution can gain cooperation from defendant in return for accepting plea deal which will assist their investigations/prosecution of other individuals.
Plea bargains offer both parties significant advantages. A plea agreement may mean reduced charges–e.g. from felony to misdemeanor–while also saving costs associated with attorney fees, court costs and expert witness testimony.
Before agreeing to any plea bargain, it is crucial that a defendant carefully consider its benefits and costs. Pressure from prosecutor or judge may cause them to accept an unfair deal that doesn’t suit their best interests; for this reason they should consult with a criminal defense lawyer who can assess their case and offer legal advice.
Costs of a Trial
No matter whether or not your DUI case goes to trial, or you accept a plea, hiring an experienced DUI attorney is vital in mitigating costs associated with it. They can take care in keeping track of paperwork and court dates while attending hearings on your behalf.
Negotiations is also available with prosecutors to reduce charges or sentences and save you both money on fines and jail time.
An Ignition Interlock Device (IID), which costs $100 to install and $80 each month, is another expense you should keep in mind when seeking DUI charges in California’s Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties. Furthermore, hiring a DUI attorney will assist in taking necessary steps to reinstate your license; such as filing the proper paperwork at the appropriate time with DMV as well as enrolling in DUI school for which tuition typically runs $500 yearly.
Costs of a Representation
Selecting an experienced DUI lawyer will save money in the long run. These legal professionals have expert knowledge in regards to breath and blood testing procedures as well as laws specific to DUI cases in their state of practice and know every aspect of each county court system – making them more efficient at representing clients against charges of DUI.
They understand what penalties prosecutors typically impose for first-offense charges and can help you avoid high fines and penalties by reviewing evidence in your case and identifying factors which may reduce punishment.
DUI lawyers can also assist you in navigating the Department of Motor Vehicles process to reinstate your driver’s license. They can advise on filing the necessary paperwork, attending DUI school and submitting your SR-22 insurance documents at the correct time – they can even help with installation costs of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle – additional expenses that can add thousands to your expenses that can easily be avoided with representation.