DUI Lawyer Costs

For many, finding out how much a DUI lawyer will cost them is the most important question that they want to be answered. Whether times are tough, or you are looking for a way to save some of your hard-earned cash, finding out what a DUI attorney should cost would probably benefit you in multiple ways. The problem is different law firms charge different rates and have different options for payment. This can make it impossible to determine what your legal representation should cost you, but you can still evaluate the reasons that one law firm will charge more than another and why this situation exists.

Does Expensive Mean Better?

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of reasons that one drunk driving legal professional will charge more for their services than others, and many of those reasons are a surprise to those facing charges. Some people believe that a better-drunk driving lawyer will charge more, so they go find the most expensive law firm that they can afford and retain his or her services. Others believe that how much a lawyer will cost them will be a result of their own negotiating skills, so they shop and haggle until they find the very best price that they can get. They believe the quality of legal representation that they receive has nothing to do with the amount their lawyer will charge.

In all honesty, the best DUI lawyer for you and your situation could be the one you found to be the most expensive or the one found to be the least expensive. This is because drunk driving defense professionals will usually base their fees upon how much of their time your case will require and how much they believe they can charge for their services.

How To Analyze Your Required Costs

Although the facts remain the same regardless of who you speak with, contacting different firms and finding out how much their lawyers cost can be frustrating because the costs depend upon choices made by the defendant. The following is an example to help explain:

Tom was arrested for drunk driving last Saturday night. He is concerned about his upcoming court proceedings and has decided to hire a lawyer to defend him. He calls multiple law firms and relays the following…

The Incident

I was driving home from the club around 2:30 am when I was pulled over by the police. After asking me some questions, the officer asked me to step out of my vehicle and perform some tests, I said yes and attempted the tests. After I finished, the officer had me use a Breathalyzer that registered my blood alcohol content as being 0.18. They took my license, arrested me, and I now have to appear in court next month. This is my first time getting into any trouble with the law and I am currently in medical school to become a doctor.


Despite Tom’s situation, he still has options. He could choose to fight the charges, plead not guilty, and hire a lawyer to represent him in a jury trial. He could plead guilty and risk having the courts assign the maximum penalties allowable by law. He could avoid the courts altogether and wait for a warrant to be issued for his arrest. What choice Tom makes will have a substantial impact on what an attorney would charge him to help Tom accomplish his goals. This is because an attorney will have different responsibilities depending upon which option his or her client chooses.

Attorney Cost Calculations

  1. Hire an attorney to represent me in trial
    • Why is this so expensive? Because of what a trial requires to be successful. A trial requires an in-depth investigation into the facts of your case and everyone involved as well as constant attention from the handling attorney. It is not uncommon for a DUI jury trial to require special expert witnesses, investigators, and more. Not only will multiple people be working on your case, but those people will be consumed by it. Lawyers are workaholics; they will probably eat, sleep, breathe, and live your case, sacrificing time with their family and friends to do so. Since Tom is in medical school, he has an additional reason to want to avoid a DUI conviction as it may restrict his ability to get a job later.
  2. Hire an attorney to represent me without trial
    • If going to trial is a last resort, this situation should be far less money than the option above. This is because your attorney will spend far less time, energy, and effort on your case than if you were to pursue a trial. This does not mean that you are not getting your money’s worth, you simply have different goals. Tom may still be able to reduce his charges and receive a break without a trial. If he can’t, going to trial may be a necessity.

After deciding which option is best for you, you will find that lawyers will still charge substantially different fees. Some will do this because they are experienced, others because they are well-known, and others because they feel that they can get away with it. This is where attorney research becomes very important. If you are stuck between two attorneys, it is rarely a good idea to decide based solely on price. Find out what makes one better than the other and weigh the price difference. Don’t let your future be decided based upon the size of your wallet.

Southern California Defense

Those in need of DUI legal representation in or around Orange County, Riverside, Los Angeles, or San Diego are invited to contact my law firm for a free confidential case evaluation. My partner and I have collectively defended more than 5,000 DUI defendants and have a history of satisfied clients.

We offer flat rate fees to those who qualify and will not increase your costs based upon calls to our office or your handling lawyer.

Free Case Evaluation

Call (844) 241-1221 or fill out our contact form to receive a free case evaluation from one of our skilled Orange County professionals.