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How Much Does a DUI Attorney Cost?

statue with blue sky and white cloudsDUI attorneys tend to bill differently than other attorneys. They fall under the category of criminal attorneys, which means they will typically require a deposit upfront in order to secure their services. This is a “retainer” fee. The full amount you are charged for your case depends entirely on the:

  • Fee structure used by the attorney
  • Resolution that you are looking for
  • Complexity of your DUI case

Fee Structures for DUI Attorneys

Attorneys will charge one of two fee structures:

1. Hourly

With the hourly billing structure, you are billed based on a specified hourly basis for different services. These rates will vary based on the type of service being offered. Some services that must be performed by the attorney themselves may be more expensive, while roles that can be filled by administrative assistants may be billed at a lower hourly rate.

For Example:  Background work or research completed by a paralegal will cost less than work handled by an attorney at the courthouse.

One of the biggest benefits to this structure is that in the event that your case is resolved quickly, you won’t end up overpaying. You will only pay for the services that are used. During your case evaluation, if this is the structure used by your attorney, they will explain what the hourly rates are for various personnel and services. The risk is that you may have to pay more if there are protracted legal proceedings.

2. Flat-Rate

With the flat-rate billing method, your attorney will give you a quote that will cover your entire case, no matter how long it takes to resolve. Another alternative is a flat fee, e.g. $5,000 that covers all legal services up to the time of trial. Trial can be billed at a flat rate or hourly, e.g. $12,000 or $400 per hour.

This fee structure might get you a discount in the event that your case is very complex.

Regardless of the fee structure used, a more experienced firm will charge more compared to less experienced firms. Chances are, while you may be focused on saving money, you will not want to go with the cheapest option, or you may face subpar results.

Also, there is usually a DMV license suspension issue which involves a DMV hearing. This is usually included in a flat fee retainer agreement.

Total Cost of Retaining a DUI Attorney

The total cost for retaining a DUI attorney depends largely on how you want to resolve the case.

For Example: If you want to hire an attorney to negotiate for a plea bargain, the rate you are quoted will be lower than a trial fee. If you don’t accept your plea offer and choose to go to trial, you will typically pay higher fees for hourly work because of extra work and preparation.

Generally speaking, the more complex your case, or the more experienced the attorney, the higher the cost. If you were charged with a first time DUI, you will pay less than someone seeking representation for a felony DUI or accidents that involve a fatality.

Location also plays a role in the cost of a DUI Attorney. Attorneys in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles typically charge more than suburban areas.

On average, a retainer can cost anywhere between $2,500 and $6,000. Trial rates, by comparison, can range between $2,500 and $25,000 based on the details of your case.

Looking for an Estimate on Your DUI Case? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today!

If you have been charged with DUI, you probably understand why finding an experienced attorney is important. But you probably don’t want to overpay for services and need to get an idea of what it will cost you to get the best representation.

Jon Bryant Artz has over 40+ years of experience as one of the top DUI lawyers in Los Angeles.

To get an idea of pricing and what steps to take next in your case, contact Jon today to schedule a free consultation. Get the quality representation you deserve.

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