How much should I pay for a DUI attorney?
If you've spoken with several attorneys about your DUI case and are comparing prices, you should keep a couple things in mind.
A higher fee does not always mean a better attorney.
First, a higher fee does not mean a better attorney. Attorneys quote high fees for many different reasons. Sometimes high fees are a result of high overhead. If an attorney spends a lot of money on marketing, they have to quote high fees so that they can recoup their marketing expenses. If an attorney has a fancy office, she has to quote higher fees to keep the lights on.
So some reasons for quoting high fees are better than others. A good reason to quote a high fee is because an attorney services are in demand. Another good reason to quote a high fee is to cover DUI specific training. You should ask your DUI attorney whether they've been trained to handle DUI cases, rather than criminal cases in general.
An exceptionally low fee might mean an unprepared attorney.
As a general rule, if an attorney is offering to handle your DUI for less than $1,000, you should be sure the attorney will actually be prepared to handle your case. Sometimes there are special circumstances where an attorney might reduced her rate for clients in tough financial situations, but for the most part, you should be wary of an attorney who offers to handle a DUI for less than $1,000.
You should ask when the attorney will obtain the police report in your case.
When you are hiring an attorney, you should make sure they commit to get the police report well in advance of trial. You should make sure they commit to go over the police report with you well in advance of trial. If your attorney will not commit to that, you should not hire that attorney.
Keep the big picture in mind.
Facing a DUI charge is hopefully a once in a lifetime experience. If you're convicted of DUI, the conviction is permanent. It cannot be expunged. A good DUI attorney will make sure that you understand the tough odds you're facing. Prosecutors and judges prosecute DUIs aggressively. It's probably safe to say that most DUI cases result in convictions. But it's also important to remember that a good DUI attorney really can make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. Don't just hire the most expensive attorney you speak with. Don't just hire the cheapest attorney either. Make sure the attorney will be prepared for trial and that he will keep you informed.