DUI charges are serious nationwide, with a lawyer cost for DUI typically ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 or more.
Costs vary due to the uniqueness of each case.
While the penalties are significant, financial concerns often weigh heavily on those facing DUI charges.
Money is a major consideration for most DUI defendants, as even minor charges can be expensive to contest.
Many individuals lack the funds to hire a DUI lawyer, leading to jail time and criminal records due to inadequate legal representation.
Average Lawyer Cost of DUI
For entering a plea, a DUI lawyer typically charges $700 to $1,500. If you go to trial, the costs range from $1,500 to $4,000 on average, or even exceed $10,000 for more complex cases.
The final cost varies based on your case’s complexity.
Severe and complicated cases that require longer trial days, more witnesses, expert reports, and other factors can drive up the expenses.
Fee Structures for DUI Lawyers
DUI attorneys typically offer two payment options: hourly or flat rate.
- Hourly rates range from $200 to $500 per hour, averaging around $300. You only pay for the hours worked on your case, so a quick resolution means lower costs.
- Flat rates, typically around $3,000, cover the entire case. Many offer payment plans, as this option is suitable when lawyers believe they can secure an advantageous plea deal, avoiding a costly trial.
DUI Cost for People Represented by Public Defenders
Defendants with public defenders typically spend around $5,500 on their case, with DUI lawyer fees ranging from $700 to $800.
Costs for public defenders vary widely based on factors like your state of residence, such as California, where an upfront registration fee of $50 is required.
What Goes into Determining Attorney’s Fees?
Skilled legal representation by an attorney is often well worth the cost, especially in serious DUI cases. DUI charges are taken seriously due to their potential deadly consequences.
DUI attorneys usually charge either a flat fee or an hourly fee.
- Flat fees typically range from $2,500 to $4,000, based on the attorney’s estimate of the case’s complexity and likelihood of a plea bargain.
- Experienced DUI attorneys assess the work involved, including appearances, motions, preliminary hearings, and potential trials, when setting a flat fee. This approach aims to secure a favorable plea agreement and avoid lengthy trials.
- Hourly rates vary based on the attorney’s caseload, experience, and reputation, usually ranging from $200 to $500 per hour. Cases with hourly rates are often unique or complex. Attorneys may require a retainer to cover their initial time, with standard or discounted hourly rates applied once the retainer is used up.