How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost?

If you have gotten arrested or charged with drinking and driving, it is time to call a DUI lawyer. Do you know what DUI stands for? Driving Under the Influence. While this is the most common acronym used, other states may use others like DWI (driving while intoxicated, OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated). Regardless of the acronym, they are all illegal.

Every state considers a DUI a criminal offense which is why it is best to get legal representation. You can choose to hire your own attorney or the court will appoint a public defender. Do you really want to take your chances with your criminal record on a public defender? It would be wise to invest in a skilled Naperville DUI lawyer in the event you get wrongly charged or qualify for a lighter sentence.

A public defender might not have the time to catch those issues because they are working on so many other cases. A seasoned attorney will give you their full attention.

What is the Average Cost I would expect to pay for a DUI Lawyer?

Typically, a DUI lawyer costs between $700 and $1,500 when entering a plea. You could pay an additional $1,500-$400 if you end up going to trial. If your case is considered extreme, you could end up paying upwards of $10,000.

Factors that could vary the cost of your DUI charges are:

Your DUI case costs will largely depend on how complex your situation is. For example, a complicated case may require multiple court appearances, more witnesses involved which is going to increase costs. When this is the case, there may be more witnesses involved, more expert reports to review, etc.

What types of fee structures do attorneys use?

“Hourly” and “flat rate” are the two most common types of fee structures that DUI attorneys use. You will get billed for each hour of service under the “hourly” structure. This is a great way to make sure you aren’t overpaying for your case if it is resolved quickly. The attorney only gets paid for the time they actually work on your DUI case. Sometimes the attorney will give you a fee to cover the whole cost of representing you. This is the flat rate structure. A benefit to this is sometimes you can get discounts with this type of fee structure.

While these are the most common types, it is best to keep in mind that attorney fees will vary depending on the lawyer and firm you choose to hire. Typically, small firms will charge less than large firms.

Experienced Attorneys

In what is surely a stressful time in your life, a DUI lawyer will be able to take you through each step of the process. A skilled DUI attorney can help from when you get arrested, the pretrial preparation and during the trial, if needed. All significant paperwork, files, court dates, etc. will all be carefully filed and kept on your behalf. A DUI attorney does all of this for you.

A DUI lawyer will represent you and argue your position if your case goes to trial. Your license is immediately suspended in most states when you are arrested for a DUI. If your license is suspended or taken, a DUI attorney can help you with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and recover your license. That process can require updates to your auto insurance, filing paperwork, and other important steps.

Public Defenders

Typically, every criminal defendant has a right to an attorney. The court will appoint an attorney for you if you can’t afford to hire one on your own. Typically, these attorneys are from a public defender’s office. Public defenders handle lots of DUI cases in addition to many other criminal cases. They are very familiar with DUI laws and defenses.

Because they are very busy and handle many cases, public defenders are usually well acquainted with the people involved like district attorneys and judges. Because of this, they are also familiar with their legal that can be very beneficial when plea bargaining. They take a lot of their cases to trial so their trial skills are very sharp.

While all of those are benefits to a public defender, there are some downsides as well. As it was stated above, public defenders have very large caseloads. Because of this, some defendants feel like they don’t get enough attention from their public defender. You also don’t get to pick which public defender you want and you only get the choice to have a public defender in criminal court.

A DUI arrest generally has the “administrative per se” proceedings that deal with the DMV and the criminal court case. Your public defender can only help with the criminal court part and you are left to deal with the DMV proceedings by yourself.

Why are Initial Consultations FREE?

The majority of DUI attorneys will offer free initial consultations. These are typically 30-minute conversations over the phone or in person. The consultation is a great opportunity to ask questions about their experience, cost, and your options moving forward.

Being able to sit down with your attorney in person is always a great way to determine if you will feel comfortable working with them. Trust is very important when hiring a DUI lawyer. A skilled, experienced lawyer is always going to be in your best interest. Complete the Free DUI Case Evaluation form below to start looking for the right attorney for you.