DUI attorney fees will vary depending on the reputation, experience, specialization, the factual circumstances increasing the complexity and severity of the case (blood-alcohol level, accident/injuries, speeding, children in car, test refusal, prior criminal record, etc.);
- The time typically devoted by the attorney to a case (discovery of breathalyzer maintenance and calibration records, copies of video/audio recordings; in-person representation at the DMV hearing vs telephonic; repeated court appearances to obtain better results; etc.);
- The costs covered by the attorney’s fee (blood sample reanalysis by independent lab, consultation with forensic toxicologist on blood/breath tests, costs of subpoena of cop to DMV hearing, DMV hearing transcription, etc.).
Make sure to consider the experience and reputation of the attorney and the likelihood that he/ she will be able to expose weaknesses in the prosecution cases. Be aware of the misleading practices commonly used by some unqualified attorneys.
Beware of low charging attorneys. They are known in the profession as “dump trunks.” Their fees are usually lower because of their inexperience, poor reputation and the inability to specializes in this complex field. The fees they charge do not justify the time, attention, and the court appearance necessary to achieve a good result for the client.
It is also typical of such attorney to appear in person at the DMV license hearing, but rather handle it by phone. Which is an ineffective way to defend against a suspension. DUI license suspension hearings are almost impossible to win over the phone. This will affect the outcome of your case, as the quality of your attorney will directly impact how prosecutors and judges will deal with your case.
Another potential concern to be aware of is hiring a DUI attorney that are known in the profession as a “mil” or “factory.” A DUI or criminal defense firm that spends huge amounts of money on TV, radio, newspaper and internet ads. Ask to meet your attorney and demand reliable information as to his/her DUI defense experience and when he graduated from law school (and which law school). If this information is not readily available on the firm’s website, you should already be looking for another attorney.
You should seek attorneys who have excellent reputations, extensive experience and specialization in DUI defense. It is wise to avoid attorneys who:
- Have graduated from unaccredited colleges and law schools
- Have little experience as an attorney or in the DUI field.
- Attempt to represent clients charged with a wide range of criminal offenses rather than focusing on DUI defense.
- Pay for advertising on radio, TV, in newspapers or via mail (so-called “jail mail”). Experienced attorneys with good reputations typical spend little on advertising.
- Claim high “win rates” in court or at DMV hearings. This is highly unlikely and impossible to disprove as the attorney cannot ethically divulge his client’s names and government agencies don’t keep records of results by attorneys.
- Make promises as to results and falsely advertise themselves to be authors of DUI defense books that are, in fact, self-published for advertising purposes only.
Below is a range of fees charged by DUI attorneys in Southern California. The range for a first offense DUI arrest maybe helpful but should not be considered absolute:
|$1000 – 2000||Minimal experience and competence, little time spent on the case, no costs covered.|
|$2500 – 3500||Some experience, competence and time given to the case.|
|$4000 – 7500||Experienced DUI specialist, good reputation with prosecutors and judges, extensive time devoted to the case, most costs covered short of jury trial.|
At the Law Offices of Taylor & Taylor, our fees are reasonable and do not include any hidden additional charges. Credit cards are accepted and payment plans are available. We pride ourselves in offering the highest quality representation at a competitive cost. We look forward to helping you, feel free to contact us at any time to discuss fees without any obligation or cost.